News For Thursday, April 11, 2013

Updated Map: Not All Voting Age Populations Are Equal

In drawing their political districts, states make sure each district has the same population. But having each district match the others in population masks big differences. We've updated our voting-age population map to include Texas' congressional and State Board of Education districts.

Elon Musk: The TT Interview

Entrepreneur Elon Musk talks to the Capitol press corps about his frustration in selling Tesla electric cars in Texas on April 10, 2013.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk talks to the Capitol press corps about his frustration in selling Tesla electric cars in Texas on April 10, 2013.

The CEO of Tesla Motors on his efforts to sell cars directly to Texans, the state's business-friendly reputation and SpaceX's plans to build an orbital launch facility near Brownsville.

Buzz Over Emerging Shale Formation Stirs Concern

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Across the U.S., drillers are finding shale formations they hope could become the next big oil play for the American energy industry. But hype over emerging oil fields, like Texas' Cline Shale, has highlighted worries about drilling companies' intentions.

Senate Sets Up Debate on Rainy Day Fund Spending

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.
Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.

The full Texas Senate will consider a plan to spend about half of the projected $11.8 billion balance in the state's Rainy Day Fund for transportation and water projects, though Democrats plan to push for money for schools as well.

UT Regents Vote to Turn Records Over To Lawmakers

UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell, r, convenes the meeting with Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa on April 11, 2013.
UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell, r, convenes the meeting with Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa on April 11, 2013.

The University of Texas System regents voted unanimously Thursday to turn over documents to state legislators that they had considered withholding and to have the attorney general conduct a review of the University of Texas Law School Foundation.

Report: 2.6 Million Texans Could Get Insurance Subsidy

A patient at The People's Community Clinic pays her bill as the cashier’s desk.  The Community Health Assistance Program, a program that helps Texans get access to insurance, will run out of federal grant money in a few weeks.
A patient at The People's Community Clinic pays her bill as the cashier’s desk. The Community Health Assistance Program, a program that helps Texans get access to insurance, will run out of federal grant money in a few weeks.

Nearly 2.6 million Texans could qualify for tax credits to purchase health insurance in 2014, according to a report released Thursday by a nonprofit advocacy group.

House to Feds: Pressure Mexico to Release Water

The Rio Grande is the ending place of many high-speed pursuits. People escape consequences by driving their vehicles into the water and swimming to Mexico.
The Rio Grande is the ending place of many high-speed pursuits. People escape consequences by driving their vehicles into the water and swimming to Mexico.

The Texas House on Thursday voted to formally ask the U.S. State Department to apply pressure on the Mexican government to release water owed to Texas under the terms of a treaty signed in 1944.