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People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

The Brief: March 2, 2015

The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.
The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.

The Tribune's Jay Root and Neena Satija filed a story over the weekend on the problem of deferred maintenance at state government buildings in multiple agencies. It makes for some grim reading.

Across State Government, Signs of Wear and Tear, Neglect Are Everywhere

This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.

After years of budget cuts, raids on dedicated funding and deferred maintenance, rats, bats, leaking roofs and audible bathroom sounds are the new normal in state government.

Former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong Dies at 82

Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.
Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.

Bob Armstrong died Sunday night at age 82. He served as land commissioner for 12 years, and later at the U.S. Department of the Interior. "He was a lover of Texas," says one of his successors.