TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The UT/TT Poll on presidential primaries, guns, taxes, government, education and immigration, Aguilar on an “e” without a “verify,” Batheja on efforts to cut property taxes, Blanchard on obstacles for the governor’s UT regent nominees, Livingston interviews one of the new guys in Washington, McCrimmon on the woes of the Texas Racing Commission and Root on the seeds of that discontent, Walters on sick Texans and experimental drugs, Satija and Root on consumers and weights and measures, M. Smith on the governor’s push for early education, Dehn and Rocha with this week’s video Roundup: The best of our best content from Feb. 23 to 27, 2015.

 
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.

Across State Government, Signs of Wear and Tear, Neglect are Everywhere

After years of budget cuts, raids on dedicated funding and deferred maintenance, rats, bats, leaking roofs and audible bathroom sounds are the new normal in state government.

Lex Frieden is a disability advocate and a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was treated after a 1967 car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Frieden's advocacy helped shape the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lex Frieden is a disability advocate and a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was treated after a 1967 car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Frieden's advocacy helped shape the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Texas Advocate Helped Mold Americans With Disabilities Act

Houston professor Lex Frieden played a key role in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. On the law's 25th anniversary, Frieden, who has used a wheelchair for decades, reflects on sweeping changes in accessibility — and challenges that remain.

Across State Government, Signs of Wear and Tear, Neglect are Everywhere

This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.

After years of budget cuts, raids on dedicated funding and deferred maintenance, rats, bats, leaking roofs and audible bathroom sounds are the new normal in state government.

Texas Advocate Helped Mold Americans With Disabilities Act

Lex Frieden is a disability advocate and a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was treated after a 1967 car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Frieden's advocacy helped shape the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lex Frieden is a disability advocate and a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was treated after a 1967 car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Frieden's advocacy helped shape the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Houston professor Lex Frieden played a key role in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. On the law's 25th anniversary, Frieden, who has used a wheelchair for decades, reflects on sweeping changes in accessibility — and challenges that remain.

 

Ag Commissioner Says Consumers "Screwed"

Sid Miller at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
Sid Miller at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

The Texas Department of Agriculture is supposed to ensure consumers aren't getting ripped off by fuel pumps, retail scanners or other measuring devices. But the agency is so cash-strapped that consumers are getting "screwed" due to a lack of oversight, the agency's new commissioner says.

The Brief: Feb. 27, 2015

Dream Act supporters on the capitol steps
Dream Act supporters on the capitol steps

Voters are evenly split on whether the state should offer in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants, but that outer parity covers some pronounced polarization on the issue, according to the latest UT/TT Poll.

Senators Grill UT Regent Appointees

University of Texas Regent nominees Sara Martinez Tucker, R.Steven Hicks and David Beck await questioning at Senate Nominations Committee hearing on Feb. 26, 2015.
University of Texas Regent nominees Sara Martinez Tucker, R.Steven Hicks and David Beck await questioning at Senate Nominations Committee hearing on Feb. 26, 2015.

Senators grilled Gov. Greg Abbott's appointees to the University of Texas System Board of Regents for more than five hours on Thursday, publicly rehashing the drama that has plagued the system's flagship university in recent years. 

High Court Ruling Protects Insurers from Worker Lawsuits

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 when a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns across 90 percent of his body. Johnson struggled to get compensation for his on-the-job injuries.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 when a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns across 90 percent of his body. Johnson struggled to get compensation for his on-the-job injuries.

In a major victory for insurance companies, the Texas Supreme Court said Friday that injured workers can't sue for damages in workers' compensation claims even when the insurer intentionally misrepresents their policies, or uses the criminal justice system to punish them.

House Takes the Lead on Abbott's Pre-K Charge

Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.
Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.

A week after Gov. Greg Abbott put early education reform on the legislative fast track, top House lawmakers announced Thursday what is likely to become the major pre-kindergarten bill of the session.