Study: Gay Marriage Would Boost Economy

Texas could add $180 million to its economy if it allowed same-sex couples to get married, according to a new study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. The study predicts that more than 23,000 same-sex couples in Texas would tie the knot within three years if the state granted them permission to do so.

 
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.

Cuellar: "Failure is Not an Option" on Border Crisis

If lawmakers do not act to address the immigration crisis on Texas' southern border before their August break, smugglers will get the message that the government does not take the crisis seriously, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar says.

Cuellar: "Failure is Not an Option" on Border Crisis

US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.

If lawmakers do not act to address the immigration crisis on Texas' southern border before their August break, smugglers will get the message that the government does not take the crisis seriously, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar says.

 

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns

Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.
Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.

Several public drinking water systems in Texas have quality issues that have not been adequately addressed, the Environmental Protection Agency told the state in recent correspondence obtained by the Tribune. 

Analysis: A Border Plan — and a Political One

Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton,  and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announced the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announced the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry said a plan to send National Guard troops to the state's border with Mexico was necessary because the federal government isn't doing enough there. The move could also address a political weak spot he discovered in his 2012 presidential run.

The Brief: July 23, 2014

DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.
DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.

Story lines continue to spin out from Gov. Rick Perry's Monday announcement that he was activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to back up existing DPS border operations. 

State Slams EPA Website That Compares Pollution Enforcement

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This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.

Compared with other states, Texas performs far fewer comprehensive inspections of polluting facilities, according to a database run by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But Texas officials call the database misleading.

The Brief: July 24, 2014

The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.
The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

The Rick Perry Presidential Watch has revved up in a big way.

Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions

A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.
A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.

Abortions in Texas decreased by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley after strict abortion regulations went into effect last November, according to a study released Wednesday.

Report Sheds Light on Workers Losing Out on Health Coverage

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Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.
Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.

Of the roughly 1.5 million more people who would have health insurance if Texas expanded Medicaid, more than half of them work in the state's booming service industry, according to a new report.

Border Surge Prompts Perry to Scale Back Governors Conference

Criticizing a lack of federal response on border issues, Governor Rick Perry announces deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border on July 21, 2014.
Criticizing a lack of federal response on border issues, Governor Rick Perry announces deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border on July 21, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry’s office said on Tuesday that because of the surge of illegal immigration on the southern border, a planned binational border governors conference will be scaled back to only a dinner with the elected officials.