TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 6/9/14

Uber and Lyft are now offering their tech-savvy transportation services in Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio and the Dallas area. But officials in those cities say the company's drivers are technically violating local laws.

Inadequate supervision from the state has led to "grossly deficient" English language instruction for Texas public school students, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Texas leaders say a federal proposal to combat climate change is a direct assault on energy providers. This Tribune analysis examines what Texas would have to do to reach the goals set forth in the proposal — if the proposal stays as is.

The Texas GOP's hardline stance on immigration in its party platform has drawn criticism from Democrats and some Republicans. And it comes as GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott tries to court Hispanic voters.

After a state Senate committee hearing Thursday in which veterans and others talked about excessive wait times at VA clinics, lawmakers said a plan expanding the Texas Veterans Commission's "strike force" was moving forward.

 

With state Rep. Ron Reynolds preparing to stand trial in late summer on criminal and civil charges related to an alleged elaborate kickback scheme, Republicans see a chance to take back a district long held by Democrats. 

Attorney General Greg Abbott leads state Sen. Wendy Davis by 12 percentage points in the race for Texas governor, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Texas Democrats hope to break the Republican streak of statewide wins in November, but some are also thinking of what would constitute progress, short of outright victory.

The Texas Turnpike Corporation of Dallas wants to build a private toll road in an area northeast of Dallas. If built, the road would be the only private toll road in the state and one of the only such facilities in the country.

Though the state offers free tuition and fees for certain former foster youth who enroll at public colleges and universities, relatively few take advantage of the opportunity — a trend policymakers are hoping to change.