Edgar Walters

Recent Contributions

Sandra Bland Case Shows Deficiencies in Jail Oversight

Hempstead resident Adrienne Holland holds a sign outside of the Waller County Jail where Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead.
Hempstead resident Adrienne Holland holds a sign outside of the Waller County Jail where Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead.

Like many Texas lockups, the Waller County Jail staff had not been sufficiently trained in safeguarding suicidal or mentally ill inmates. Part of the problem is underfunding and understaffing at the state agency overseeing the disparate network of 244 local and private jails.

Texas Hopes to Attract More Mental Health Care Workers

Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.
Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.

A program created this year will help pay mental health professionals’ student loans if they practice in a medically needy area. The program seeks to alleviate the state’s shortage of mental health professionals, which watchdogs are calling a "public health emergency."

Republicans Vow a Religious Liberty Fight

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

Texas' Republican leaders suffered a historic loss on Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court held that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. But social conservatives vowed not to go down without a fight over religious liberty.

After Day of Rules Warfare, Both Sides Claim Some Wins

House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel is handed another stack of bills during debate on S.B. 19 Tuesday evening May 26, 2015 in the Texas House.
House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel is handed another stack of bills during debate on S.B. 19 Tuesday evening May 26, 2015 in the Texas House.

A daylong parliamentary battle ensued Tuesday as the Texas House faced a crucial deadline to pass many major bills before they died. Democrats succeeded in killing an abortion bill, while Republicans managed to pass ethics reform legislation and a version of campus carry.