TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/24/14

Neither Greg Abbott nor Wendy Davis has spent much time talking about the energy industry and regulations. But Texans should have little trouble distinguishing their positions.

Texas voters don't like property taxes, and Republican Glenn Hegar has said he favors eliminating them. His opponent in the comptroller's race, Mike Collier, is talking up the likely result: a huge increase in sales tax.

For providers who treat the state’s poorest patients, a settlement between the state and a Medicaid provider raises questions about how the state distinguishes fraudulent intent from human error.

Siding with the state of Texas, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that there isn’t enough evidence that the state's new abortion regulations create an undue burden on the majority of Texas women attempting to access abortion.

Mayors Annise Parker of Houston, Mike Rawlings of Dallas and Betsy Price of Fort Worth on Thursday announced their support for a privately funded high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston.

 

Health reform advocates in Texas say they will continue to focus on enrolling individuals in the federal health insurance marketplace by the original Monday deadline despite an extension for certain applications that was announced this week.

Federal and state officials are in talks to work out a conflict in testing requirements under the state’s new high school graduation standards and federal education law that could mean "double-testing" eighth-graders who take algebra I.

While the most compelling scenes of devastation from the oil spill in Galveston Bay have been above the water, scientists and fishermen worry about the underwater ecosystem that feeds a multibillion-dollar industry. 

Oil spills are not uncommon in Texas waterways, particularly along the Gulf Coast, where more than 50 billion gallons of oil are transported each year. But the number of spills has declined in recent years.

More than 2,000 pages of heavily redacted email documents — many pages were blacked out entirely — clearly reveal growing tensions among regents and top administrators at the University of Texas System and its flagship university.