Voters Could Approve Billions in Debt in May

Cities and school districts across Texas are asking voters to approve more than $6.6 billion in local debt in next month's bond elections. The elections are drawing attention to the state’s growing amount of local debt, which accounts for 85 percent of the state’s total debt.

 

El Paso Lacking English-Speaking Foster Homes

On the heels of an expansion of Fort Bliss, El Paso is seeing an increase in the number of children who can't be placed in foster homes because there aren't enough English-speaking homes available.

El Paso Lacking English-Speaking Foster Homes

On the heels of an expansion of Fort Bliss, El Paso is seeing an increase in the number of children who can't be placed in foster homes because there aren't enough English-speaking homes available.

 

AG Seeks Details on Federal Plans for Land by Red River

A view of the Red River looking east, north of Bonham, Texas. Texas is to the right, and Oklahoma is on the left. The border between the two states runs along the south (right) bank of the river.
A view of the Red River looking east, north of Bonham, Texas. Texas is to the right, and Oklahoma is on the left. The border between the two states runs along the south (right) bank of the river.

Texas officials are seeking more information on the federal government's plans to potentially take control of 90,000 acres of land long managed by North Texans. 

Hundreds of Thousands of Texans Without Workplace Insurance

State Rep. Renee Oliveira, D-Brownsville, votes yes on third reading of HB 1000 creating a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley on March 20, 2013.
State Rep. Renee Oliveira, D-Brownsville, votes yes on third reading of HB 1000 creating a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley on March 20, 2013.

At least half a million Texas workers have no workplace insurance coverage, either through the workers' compensation system or the private market, state insurance officials told lawmakers Tuesday.

Abbott Calls for More Local Control of School Options

Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.
Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.

In his latest education policy plan, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott proposes giving school districts and parents more control of students' education by tossing out state mandates and regulations.

Analysis: Perry and the Threat That Boomeranged

Gov. Rick Perry is shown on Nov. 15, 2013, at an Austin kickoff rally for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's re-election campaign.
Gov. Rick Perry is shown on Nov. 15, 2013, at an Austin kickoff rally for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's re-election campaign.

A grand jury is considering whether Gov. Rick Perry broke the law when he threatened to cut state funding for the public integrity unit of the Travis County DA’s office. No matter what happens, its decision will figure into his future as the 2016 presidential race looms.

The Brief: April 23, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.

Gov. Rick Perry continued to work to get Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg to resign even after following through on the threat to veto money for the Public Integrity Unit.

Prisoner Advocates: More Resources for Inmate Art

"Illuminating Spirits," an art and poetry exhibition by incarcerated women in the Texas prison system, are displayed at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, presented by The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and the City of Austin.
"Illuminating Spirits," an art and poetry exhibition by incarcerated women in the Texas prison system, are displayed at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, presented by The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and the City of Austin.

Behind bars, art can be an important form of expression for women who have suffered from trauma, drug addiction or mental illness. Advocates plan to ask lawmakers for more money to provide inmates with art supplies and art therapy.