A young girl plays outside her home in the Pueblo de Palmas colonia near Mission, Texas, on Aug. 29, 2013.
A young girl plays outside her home in the Pueblo de Palmas colonia near Mission, Texas, on Aug. 29, 2013.

State Waits for Directions to Declassify Colonias

The state has worked for decades to halt the proliferation of colonias, but it has no way to declassify communities that have outgrown the colonia description. The secretary of state's Colonia Initiatives Program has asked lawmakers for help, but no legislation has been filed so far, and it is unclear whether it will even be addressed.

 
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

 

The Brief: March 2, 2015

The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.
The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.

The Tribune's Jay Root and Neena Satija filed a story over the weekend on the problem of deferred maintenance at state government buildings in multiple agencies. It makes for some grim reading.

Vaccine Debate Puts Spotlight on State Registry

When patients in Texas turn 18, they have to give the state permission to keep their vaccination records in its electronic registry. Otherwise they're expunged. But some lawmakers and doctors are attempting to change that.

Former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong Dies at 82

Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.
Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.

Bob Armstrong died Sunday night at age 82. He served as land commissioner for 12 years, and later at the U.S. Department of the Interior. "He was a lover of Texas," says one of his successors. 

The Playlist: The Race is On

The first University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of 2015 had good news for likely White House hopefuls Scott Walker and Hillary Clinton — so we’re kicking off this week’s playlist with George Jones singing “The Race Is On."

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.