GOVERNMENT

Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek
Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek

FBI at Health Commission Asking About 21CT Deal

FBI agents have interviewed Texas Health and Human Services Commission employees about the agency's problematic contract with Austin firm 21CT, Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek said Thursday, the first time any official with direct knowledge of the FBI's involvement has confirmed it.

FBI at Health Commission Asking About 21CT Deal

Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek
Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek

FBI agents have interviewed Texas Health and Human Services Commission employees about the agency's problematic contract with Austin firm 21CT, Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek said Thursday, the first time any official with direct knowledge of the FBI's involvement has confirmed it.

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Citing Baldness, Gohmert Scraps Presidential Campaign

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, is shown at the annual alumni Aggie Muster on April 21, 2012, at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, is shown at the annual alumni Aggie Muster on April 21, 2012, at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

One thing you can say about East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert is that reporters listen carefully to his every word. But he did not mean it when he said he might form an exploratory committee to run for president. 

Committee Sends Open Carry Bill to House Floor

House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety Chairman Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, listened to testimony during a March 17, 2015, hearing.
House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety Chairman Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, listened to testimony during a March 17, 2015, hearing.

A Texas House committee on Thursday approved a bill from state Rep. Larry Phillips that would allow the open carry of handguns in the state. The legislation now goes to the House floor. A similar bill passed the Senate last week.

House Committee Considers Banning E-Cigarette Use by Minors

E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid solution for inhalation. They have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005.
E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid solution for inhalation. They have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005.

The House Public Health Committee on Tuesday discussed five bills that would extend current restrictions on tobacco products to vapor products like e-cigarettes. The Senate passed similar legislation last week.

$209.8 Billion Budget Plan Headed to House Floor

State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.
State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday backed a $209.8 billion two-year budget that would leave $8.4 billion on the table, along with billions more in the state’s savings account. The budget plan now goes to the full House.

Lawmakers Say Sports Shaped Their Political Careers

Students at North Forney High School work through football practice on the first day of school in Forney, Texas, in August 2010.
Students at North Forney High School work through football practice on the first day of school in Forney, Texas, in August 2010.

Five state lawmakers — all former college athletes — gathered at the University of Texas at Austin to talk about the parallels between athletics and governing and the lessons they learned from high school and college sports.