FRONT PAGE

Analysis: For Budget Writers, Tax Cuts Are Spending Decisions

Lawmakers have a hard job when money is tight and they're writing state budgets. It's even harder when they have all the money they need: The competition isn't just between programs and services; it's between programs and services and tax cuts. 

Keith Plantier lectures in a "Wind Safety" course at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, on July, 22, 2013. The college is placing more of an emphasis on courses that will help their students find employment in the growing number of oilfields and wind farms in West Texas.
Keith Plantier lectures in a "Wind Safety" course at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, on July, 22, 2013. The college is placing more of an emphasis on courses that will help their students find employment in the growing number of oilfields and wind farms in West Texas.

Changes in Curriculum Bring Opportunity for Technical Colleges

At the state’s technical colleges, controversial changes to the state's high school curriculum in House Bill 5 have been met with a sense of excitement — and anticipation that the shift could lead to significant expansion.

Senator Ken Paxton speaks to supporters in Plano on Thursday, August 1, 2013, to announcement his campaign for Attorney General.
Senator Ken Paxton speaks to supporters in Plano on Thursday, August 1, 2013, to announcement his campaign for Attorney General.

The Brief: April 21, 2014

GOP attorney general candidate Ken Paxton is reviewing past filings with state regulators after the Tribune obtained letters "showing the McKinney lawmaker was being paid to solicit clients for a North Texas financial services firm at a time when he was not registered with the State Securities Board."

Changes in Curriculum Bring Opportunity for Technical Colleges

Keith Plantier lectures in a "Wind Safety" course at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, on July, 22, 2013. The college is placing more of an emphasis on courses that will help their students find employment in the growing number of oilfields and wind farms in West Texas.
Keith Plantier lectures in a "Wind Safety" course at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, on July, 22, 2013. The college is placing more of an emphasis on courses that will help their students find employment in the growing number of oilfields and wind farms in West Texas.

At the state’s technical colleges, controversial changes to the state's high school curriculum in House Bill 5 have been met with a sense of excitement — and anticipation that the shift could lead to significant expansion.

The Brief: April 21, 2014

Senator Ken Paxton speaks to supporters in Plano on Thursday, August 1, 2013, to announcement his campaign for Attorney General.
Senator Ken Paxton speaks to supporters in Plano on Thursday, August 1, 2013, to announcement his campaign for Attorney General.

GOP attorney general candidate Ken Paxton is reviewing past filings with state regulators after the Tribune obtained letters "showing the McKinney lawmaker was being paid to solicit clients for a North Texas financial services firm at a time when he was not registered with the State Securities Board."

Featured Data

New in Trib+Edu: Testing Questioned, Healthy Students

Pressure to Pick Career Path Vexes Some Students

Before the end of the school year, nearly 400,000 eighth-graders will have chosen a career track as part of Texas' new high school graduation requirements. The changes already have some students — and their counselors — on edge.

Appointment of Brazos Watermaster Hotly Contested in East Texas

The Brazos River as it flows past Glen Rose on Aug. 2, 2013. Drought conditions have led to a significant decrease in water levels in the river. Use of the river by cattle farmers along its route is another factor leading to a decrease in water quality and shore erosion is.
The Brazos River as it flows past Glen Rose on Aug. 2, 2013. Drought conditions have led to a significant decrease in water levels in the river. Use of the river by cattle farmers along its route is another factor leading to a decrease in water quality and shore erosion is.

The Brazos river's hotly contested lower basin will soon be subject to much more regulation than its users have experienced in the past. Will that help solve disputes or deepen divisions? 

Texas Seizes Polygamist Group's Ranch in West Texas

FLDS members arriving at the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo, Texas for the first day of court hearings on the custody of the hundreds of children taken by the state of Texas from the compound on April 17, 2008.
FLDS members arriving at the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo, Texas for the first day of court hearings on the custody of the hundreds of children taken by the state of Texas from the compound on April 17, 2008.

Six years after Texas officials removed hundreds of children from their polygamist parents, state and local authorities seized the sprawling 1,700-acre Yearning For Zion Ranch this week.

 

A&M System Announces Further Consolidation of Services

Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, John Sharp, photographed at the System offices in Austin on March 14, 2013
Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, John Sharp, photographed at the System offices in Austin on March 14, 2013

In keeping with a recent and often controversial trend of public universities seeking savings by consolidating services, the Texas A&M University System announced a plan overhaul its IT infrastructure.

Anti-Corruption Unit Chief: No Davis Docs Passed to FBI

Texas gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Wendy Davis speaks to press following an education rally in Austin, Texas on April 14th
Texas gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Wendy Davis speaks to press following an education rally in Austin, Texas on April 14th

The agency charged with prosecuting public corruption cases wrapped up an investigation into Wendy Davis last year without finding any issues worth pursuing and did not uncover anything it believed it should refer to the FBI.

 

Questions of Politics, Experience in Burton, Shelton Runoff

Tea Party candidate Konni Burton and former state Rep. Mark Shelton are vying to represent Senate District 10 in a Republican runoff election.
Tea Party candidate Konni Burton and former state Rep. Mark Shelton are vying to represent Senate District 10 in a Republican runoff election.

Former state Rep. Mark Shelton and Tea Party favorite Konni Burton are vying in a Republican runoff election for the state Senate seat left open by Wendy Davis. It's a swing district that both political parties are paying close attention to.

In Power Line Dispute, Rancher Questions Utilities' Wiggle Room

Johnny Vinson stands on the part of his Wise County, Texas ranch where Oncor built a power line  through his property. Vinson says the power company didn't build the line where they said they would.
Johnny Vinson stands on the part of his Wise County, Texas ranch where Oncor built a power line through his property. Vinson says the power company didn't build the line where they said they would.

After landowners sign off on power line routes, can transmission companies install them somewhere else? The Public Utility Commission is set to consider a rancher’s complaint.