The deaths of eight foster kids over the past year have sparked concerns and lawmakers are now being asked to review the Texas foster care system. Some child advocates say the blame lies with the legislature and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has asked lawmakers to take another look at the issue.
A special committee in the Texas Senate may have found a solution to the hundreds of miles of roads in South Texas and the Permian Basin that were slated to be converted into gravel.
The Texas Department of Transportation announcement near the end of the summer surprised members of the legislature and as the discussions wore on, the number of miles that were up for conversion grew into the hundreds.
This time it's state Sen. Carlos Uresti, who said he is mulling a run for the attorney general's office in 2014 and considers himself a perfect fit for the job.
"With my experience as an attorney of 20 years, my experience as a legislator of 16 years -- including my experience as officer in the Marine Corps -- I think gives me some of the skills to fill that position," he said.
According to Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), foster parents in Texas are 53 times more likely to overmedicate children in their care than parents with non-foster children, but a law passed during the last legislative session will stop the practice.
The law regulates how many psychotropic drugs children in foster care can be given in an attempt to make a difference on the high number of children given five or more medications at one time.
On May 29, 2013 Gov. Perry signed House Bills 915 and 1227, which help improve the care children receive in Texas’ foster care system. The governor was joined by Representative Dawnna Dukes and other officials.
Roads are being worn down with the high volume of heavy-load trucks passing in and out of the Eagle Ford Shale area, causing TxDOT to balance the need for frequent repairs with cost saving measures in their budget.
A paved road costs the agency about $500,000 per mile to maintain, but gravel roads cost about $10,000, so TxDOT wants to convert 83 miles of roadway into gravel, a decision that is being met with opposition from county officials.