GOVERNMENT

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.

Prosecutors Developing Criminal Case Against Attorney General Paxton

Ken Paxton's legal troubles — stemming for his admission last year that he violated state securities law — may be getting more serious. A special prosecutor says he plans to start presenting evidence in less than a month seeking to indict the attorney general for first-degree felony securities fraud.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.

Big Schools Don't Fry: Not All Districts Warm to Miller's Initiative

Soda machines and deep fat fryers are now allowed back in Texas public schools, thanks to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's reversal of a 10-year ban. But many school districts say they have no appetite for reinstating the unhealthy choices for students.

Big Schools Don't Fry: Not All Districts Warm to Miller's Initiative

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.

Soda machines and deep fat fryers are now allowed back in Texas public schools, thanks to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's reversal of a 10-year ban. But many school districts say they have no appetite for reinstating the unhealthy choices for students.

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Government Salary Database Updated

Spouses of Gay Public Employees Get Benefits

A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.
A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.

As of Wednesday, public employers including Texas agencies and universities will allow current and retired gay and lesbian employees to enroll their same-sex spouses in the same benefit programs and services available to opposite-sex couples.

State Won't Track Gay Marriage Numbers

Laura LeBoeuf and Angie Balmer at a ceremony at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26, 2015.
Laura LeBoeuf and Angie Balmer at a ceremony at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26, 2015.

On the first day of legal same-sex marriage, more than 465 same-sex couples were issued marriage licenses in 10 of the state's largest counties. But keeping track of how many licenses are issued over time may prove difficult.

 

Benefits Should Follow Same-Sex Marriages

A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.
A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling establishing the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, public employers are now figuring out how and when spouses of married gay employees will start receiving benefits.

After Gay Marriage Ruling, Republicans Promise 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.

Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Bans Are Unconstitutional

Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss of Plano at an LBJ Library press conference celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. Holmes and Phariss had sued Texas over its same-sex marriage ban.
Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss of Plano at an LBJ Library press conference celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. Holmes and Phariss had sued Texas over its same-sex marriage ban.

Handing gay rights advocates a monumental victory, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that marriages between couples of the same sex cannot be prohibited by states, a decision that overrides Texas’ ban on gay marriage.

Ted Cruz: "I Thought That Popularity Was the Holy Grail"

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at Citizens United Freedom Summit in South Carolina on May 9 2015.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at Citizens United Freedom Summit in South Carolina on May 9 2015.

In his new memoir — and in an interview with the Tribune — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz talks about how his "cocky" nature has tripped him up in the past, and what he learned from getting passed over for a senior spot in George W. Bush's administration. 

Gay Rights Activists: Fight is Only Just Getting Started

Gay rights activists held a demonstration on Monday, June 29, 2015, in front of the Texas Capitol. The event came a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Speakers at the event included (from left) Cleo DeLeon, Chad Griffin, Jim Obergefell, Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, Rebecca Robertson and Kathy Miller.
Gay rights activists held a demonstration on Monday, June 29, 2015, in front of the Texas Capitol. The event came a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Speakers at the event included (from left) Cleo DeLeon, Chad Griffin, Jim Obergefell, Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, Rebecca Robertson and Kathy Miller.

Now that same-sex marriage is legal, gay rights activists are setting their sights on pushing for more protections for LGBT people. In front of the Texas Capitol, activists on Monday vowed to target discrimination in areas including employment and housing.

 

Demand for Bilingual 911 Services Growing

Downtown El Paso at night.
Downtown El Paso at night.

While Texas continues its demographic march into diversity, only one city — El Paso — requires its 911 emergency call takers to be fluent in English and Spanish. Other cities are striving to keep up with the need to handle emergency calls in a wide range of languages.