GOVERNMENT: Legislature

McCraw Hammered at Hearing on Bland Case

DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw answers questions from State Rep. Garnet Coleman during invited testimony of the House Committee on County Affairs investigating the Sandra Bland death in Waller County on July 30, 2015.
DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw answers questions from State Rep. Garnet Coleman during invited testimony of the House Committee on County Affairs investigating the Sandra Bland death in Waller County on July 30, 2015.

State lawmakers grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday, voicing concerns about arrest procedures used by state police and pressing the agency head to explain the July 10 arrest of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged three days later in the Waller County Jail.

Mental Health Jail Check Failed in Bland Case

Waller County Jail booking video showing Sandra Bland appearing before Justice of the Peace Delores Hargrave.
Waller County Jail booking video showing Sandra Bland appearing before Justice of the Peace Delores Hargrave.

The Waller County Jail failed to complete a two-part mental health screening process as required by law during Sandra Bland's booking process, according to the state jail commission and at least one public policy group.

Paxton: Texas Planned Parenthood Video "Consistent" With Others

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies on July 29, 2015, before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on an investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies on July 29, 2015, before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on an investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton confirmed on Wednesday that a video obtained by his office as part of its investigation into Planned Parenthood practices is “consistent” with other undercover videos released by an anti-abortion group.

Analysis: The Center Did Not Hold

Early voting at the Acres Home Multiservice Center in Houston on Oct. 26, 2014.
Early voting at the Acres Home Multiservice Center in Houston on Oct. 26, 2014.

Middle ground is arguably the most dangerous turf for a Texas lawmaker to occupy these days, and new research shows that none are doing it. The gap between moderate Republican and Democratic lawmakers is growing.

Holdouts on Gay Marriage Could Face Lawsuits

With most Texas counties now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, legal experts and gay rights activists say it may take individual lawsuits to compel the handful of county clerks still refusing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.