Texas Legislature

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Portions of Texas 96 parks remain closed because of flood damage and fire.  Parks officials told legislators Monday expensive repairs are needed to reopen the inaccessible areas. 

Ryan E. Poppe

Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that would set up a state licensing program for nonprofits that help settle refugees in the state.  Senate Republicans are concerned about being left out of the loop when it comes to the city where these families are being placed by the federal government.

Ryan E. Poppe

The term “crisis” has been used in recent years to describe the state of Texas’ foster care system and state lawmakers are examining what can be done to fix it.

There were 65,000 cases of confirmed child abuse that were investigated by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services in 2015. That’s down by 14 percent, according to state’s Child Protective Services Division.  

But Judge John Specia, the head of the state agency, told lawmakers while those numbers have decreased, 50 percent of case workers are leaving the job because of low pay and high caseloads.

Ryan E. Poppe

With oil revenues down and job losses across multiple sectors of the state’s economy, lawmakers are looking at available money going into next year’s legislative session.  But Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is optimistic about the Texas economy and how much money the legislature will have during the 2017 session.

Lawmakers are studying whether state agencies are doing enough to keep online “Hack-ta-vists” and other cyber criminals from accessing and stealing personal information.  But state officials say while there are advances in technology, experts in the industry are not as readily available to state agencies.