Government

Same-Sex Marriage
5:04 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

State Appellate Court Issues Stay In San Antonio Same-Sex Marriage Divorce Case

A same-sex couple married in Washington, D.C., and wanting a divorce in Texas was told by a state district judge that Texas’ view on same-sex marriages, which includes divorce, is unconstitutional.

Allison Lesh and Kristi Lesh were married in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and then moved to Texas. Soon after, Kristi was artificially inseminated and became pregnant and a year later the couple split up and a custody battle ensued.

Allison, who was not the biological mother, was prevented from any type of visitation because of Texas laws banning same-sex marriage.  

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Texas Public Schools
12:18 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Education Group Urges House Panel To Create Achievement District For Low-Rated Schools

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The Texas House Committee on Public Education is looking at what can be done to improve low-rated school campuses.  

Texans for Education Reform, an education advocacy group that is spending heavily in 2014, told the committee on Tuesday that lawmakers need to create a special state district for school campuses are chronically underperforming; an achievement school district.

“We have to think about morally responsible timelines for intervention for low-performing schools,” said Julie Linn, executive director for Texans for Education Reform.

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Criminal Justice
1:51 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Lawmakers Weighing Options With Mental Illness In Texas Prison Population

According to state officials, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice counts a large number of inmates with mental illness and drug addiction because the state lacks funding for their treatment. 

On Tuesday members of the House Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a special joint committee hearing to discuss the huge influx of mentally ill people who are being sent to prison.  

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Criminal Justice
3:46 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

UT Law Clinic Study Shows Dangerous Conditions In Texas' Sweltering Prisons

Dr. Ariel Dulitsky, director of the Human Rights Clinic at the UT School of Law.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

The Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law released a report that shows the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is violating prisoners' human and constitutional rights by exposing them to high temperatures.

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2014 Governor's Race
2:57 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Abbott Campaign Enters The Era Of Virtual Currency, Will Accept Bitcoins

Credit Wikimedia Commons user CASASCIUS / cc

Greg Abbott’s campaign announced last week it would begin accepting bitcoin contributions, but with the fluctuating value of the currency many political experts see the move as more of a way for Abbott to attract a certain type of supporter.

Abbott wrote in a memo:

“The spirit of Bitcoin embodies the free market principles that make Texas a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.”  

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Health Care
1:29 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Texas Still Negotiating Federal Block Grant For Medicaid Expansion

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek said he’s negotiating a waiver with federal officials that gives the state permission to obtain a federal block grant to expand Medicaid, but people within HHS said they haven’t even completed the application.

In mid-September 2013 Janek received his last instructions from the governor’s office on the terms of what that federal block grant should look like. He was asked last week where the state was in the process of securing federal dollars to design a state program to expand Medicaid.

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Election Campaigns
10:06 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Part Of Dewhurst Attack Ad On Patrick Is Untrue, But Will It Pay Off Anyway?

Fact checkers have revealed the attack ad by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst alleging Dan Patrick changed his name in the mid 1980s to avoid creditors is untrue.

At the tail end of last week, Dewhurst’s campaign released what political scholars are calling a “nuclear” attack against Patrick, his primary runoff opponent in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.

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Abortion In Texas
5:00 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

North Texas Abortion Doctors Sue Hospital Over Revoked Admitting Privileges

Two North Texas doctors have sued University General Hospital Dallas after receiving a letter that announced their admitting privileges were revoked because they perform abortions at a separate facility.

Dr. Lamar Robinson and another doctor not wanting to be identified filed a lawsuit in a Dallas County courtroom after the public hospital, University General Hospital Dallas, sent a letter to the two physicians  stating that they were revoking their admitting rights. 

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City Government
11:33 am
Thu April 17, 2014

City Council Pushes Plastic Bag Ban Discussion To May

Flickr user Trisha Weir cc

A plastic bag ban is getting closer to becoming reality in San Antonio. Wednesday, the City Council's Governance Committee forwarded the item to a full city council briefing session in May.

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Gun Control
5:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Texas Group Part Of $50 Million Bloomberg Gun Regulation Effort

Kelly Burke, president of Texas chapter of Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

Former-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he is bringing his existing gun-regulation groups under one umbrella organization to widen each group's reach.

Bloomberg has provided $50 million to establish Every Town Demands Action, a nationwide effort to advocate for gun control. One of those groups is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Kelly Burke, who is the president of Texas chapter, describes her group as a startup without any capital.

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