Transparency Committee to Question UT System Officials

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa (left) and UT Board of Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster are shown at the announcement of Cigarroa's resignation on Feb. 10, 2014.
UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa (left) and UT Board of Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster are shown at the announcement of Cigarroa's resignation on Feb. 10, 2014.

High-ranking University of Texas System officials are expected to appear before the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations on Wednesday to answer questions about recent developments at UT-Austin.

New in TribTalk: Krause on the Border Crisis

A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.
A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.

After letting the crisis on the border fester for over a month, Washington is still barely doing anything to stem the tide of migrant children entering our country, forcing Texas to act on its own, writes state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth.

Van De Putte, Patrick Show Similar Fundraising Totals

State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.
State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.

Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are facing off in a fiery race for lieutenant governor, have both raised about $1 million since the end of May.

Appeals Court: UT-Austin May Use Race in Admissions

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers spoke on June 24, 2013, about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Fisher v. UT-Austin.
University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers spoke on June 24, 2013, about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Fisher v. UT-Austin.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday — for the second time — that the University of Texas at Ausin may use race as an element of its admissions decisions for candidates not admitted via the state's Top Ten Percent Law.

Abbott Campaign Reports $35.6 Million War Chest

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

Attorney General Greg Abbott has amassed a $35.6 million war chest in the race for Texas governor. His Democratic opponent, Sen. Wendy Davis, says she has $13.1 million for the effort. 

In McRaven or Fisher, a New Kind of UT Chancellor

Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of the United States Special Operations Command, is reportedly a candidate to replace UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. Best known for coordinating the successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden, McRaven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of the United States Special Operations Command, is reportedly a candidate to replace UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. Best known for coordinating the successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden, McRaven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

The two candidates to replace outgoing UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa — Admiral William McRaven and Dallas Fed Chief Richard Fisher — are neither a product of state politics nor of academia.

 

Texas Sees Rise in Medicaid Signups

Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for the treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen on Jul. 9, 2013.
Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for the treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen on Jul. 9, 2013.

More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall, despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility.

The Brief: A Bipartisan Texas Effort to Address 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.

A bipartisan effort by two Texas lawmakers — GOP U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar — grabbed headlines as having the potential to break the logjam as to what to do about the surge in unaccompanied minors across the border.

Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One

Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.

As state water planners prepare to spend $2 billion in public funds to address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, scientists say state leaders' skepticism on climate change will only impair such planning.

Women Want State’s Help in Pelvic Mesh Fight

Aaron Leigh Johnson-Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, prepares gifts to mail to women with complications from a mesh implant at her home in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2014.
Aaron Leigh Johnson-Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, prepares gifts to mail to women with complications from a mesh implant at her home in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2014.

While thousands of women across the country are engaged in lawsuits against manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants, a Texas group is trying to get the state to take action against a company that makes the medical devices.

Inside Texas Politics: Children at the Border

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on July 13, 2014.
Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on July 13, 2014.

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, I talked with host Jason Whitely and Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders about the latest in the UT-Austin saga, the border surge, President Obama's Texas visit and more.