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Regent Paul Foster at the University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting Aug. 22, 2013.
Regent Paul Foster at the University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting Aug. 22, 2013.

UT Board: Lawmakers May Not Observe Investigation

At a special meeting of the University of Texas System regents on Monday, the board unanimously voted to keep lawmakers out of the room during interviews for an investigation into alleged political influence in admissions at the University of Texas at Austin. 

 

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.

Cuellar: Debate on Immigration Surge Likely to Re-emerge This Year

The congressional debate about how to address the influx of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing illegally into Texas is likely to re-emerge later this year when lawmakers debate an omnibus budget bill, according to a Texas lawmaker.

Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.
Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.

Schools Get Military Gear Through Federal Program

At least 10 Texas school districts have received armored plating, tactical vests, military vehicles, rifles, pistols and rounds of ammunition through a federal military surplus program.

Cuellar: Debate on Immigration Surge Likely to Re-emerge This Year

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.

The congressional debate about how to address the influx of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing illegally into Texas is likely to re-emerge later this year when lawmakers debate an omnibus budget bill, according to a Texas lawmaker.

Schools Get Military Gear Through Federal Program

Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.
Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.

At least 10 Texas school districts have received armored plating, tactical vests, military vehicles, rifles, pistols and rounds of ammunition through a federal military surplus program.

Featured Data

New in Texas Weekly: Changing Faces of the Senate

Drillers, But Not Fracking, Tied to Tainted Water

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.

Oil and gas activities – but not hydraulic fracturing – tainted drinking water wells atop North Texas’ Barnett Shale and Pennsylvania’s Marcellus formation, according to a new study.  

 

Lawmakers Seek to Sit In on Investigation of UT-Austin

Trey Martinez-Fischer, D-San Antonio, in legislative action at the Texas Capitol during the 83rd Legislative Session in the spring and summer of 2013.
Trey Martinez-Fischer, D-San Antonio, in legislative action at the Texas Capitol during the 83rd Legislative Session in the spring and summer of 2013.

State Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer and Lyle Larson say they intend to attend all interviews conducted during an external investigation of UT-Austin's admissions process. It's not clear yet whether they'll be allowed. 

 

Moody's Describes School Finance Ruling as "Credit Positive"

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Moody's Investors Service described a judge's declaration of the state's school finance system as unconstitutional as a “credit positive,” saying the ruling would compel Texas lawmakers to “redesign the school finance system.”

UT System Pursues Partnerships, Space Research with Mexico

A student works on the campus of what is currently the University of Texas at Brownsville. Next year, it will officially become a part of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
A student works on the campus of what is currently the University of Texas at Brownsville. Next year, it will officially become a part of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

University of Texas System officials are preparing to sign an agreement with the Mexican government to encourage more student exchanges and faculty collaboration across the border, and to launch a space-related research project. 

Aquifer is No Quick Fix for Central Texas Thirst

Darwyn Hanna grows pecans and runs cattle on some of the land he owns in Bastrop County. He is contesting a water marketer's bid to pump about 15 billion gallons a year from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in Bastrop County, saying the plan would devalue his property.
Darwyn Hanna grows pecans and runs cattle on some of the land he owns in Bastrop County. He is contesting a water marketer's bid to pump about 15 billion gallons a year from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in Bastrop County, saying the plan would devalue his property.

As drought continues to grip Central Texas, those looking to provide water to the region’s fast-growing cities and suburbs see a solution in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. But others fear the resource will be drained at their expense. 

 

The Brief: Sept. 15, 2014

State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.
State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.

At stake, according to a posted agenda for today's meeting of the UT System regents, is "the integrity and independence" of an external investigation of admissions procedures.

In Health Care, Some Organizers Find an Issue to Spur Hispanic Voters

Chris Ornelas, a Texas Organizing Project employee, speaking with Armando Rodriguez while canvassing in San Antonio's west side on Sept. 4, 2014.
Chris Ornelas, a Texas Organizing Project employee, speaking with Armando Rodriguez while canvassing in San Antonio's west side on Sept. 4, 2014.

In three of Texas' most populous counties, organizers are working to use Hispanic support of affordable health care to spur a movement they think could change the state’s electoral tide. Republicans suggest the issue ranks far behind unemployment and the economy — areas where they say their policies have the market cornered.