GOVERNMENT

Texas Hopes to Attract More Mental Health Care Workers

Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.
Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.

Lawmakers this year created a program that will help pay mental health professionals’ student loans if they practice in a medically needy area. The loan forgiveness program seeks to alleviate the state’s shortage of mental health professionals, which watchdogs are calling a "public health emergency."

Texas Hopes to Attract More Mental Health Care Workers

Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.
Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.

Lawmakers this year created a program that will help pay mental health professionals’ student loans if they practice in a medically needy area. The loan forgiveness program seeks to alleviate the state’s shortage of mental health professionals, which watchdogs are calling a "public health emergency."

Prosecutors Developing Criminal Case Against Paxton

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.

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.

Not All Districts Warm to Miller's Food 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.

Spouses of Gay Public Employees Eligible for 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.