GOVERNMENT: State Agencies

Relaxed Food Stamp Rules to Help Felons

Starting Sept. 1, a new Texas law will allow people with felony drug convictions to qualify for food assistance, ending the lifetime ban they currently face. Supporters hope the change will reduce recidivism as it helps felons get back on their feet. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series

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Rookie Prison Guard is Killed Escorting Violent Inmate

TDCJ Inmate Billy Joel Tracy, suspect in beating death of Correctional Officer Timothy Davison.
TDCJ Inmate Billy Joel Tracy, suspect in beating death of Correctional Officer Timothy Davison.

A rookie Texas Department of Criminal Justice guard was beaten to death Wednesday at a northeast Texas prison as he was escorting an inmate, one with an extensive history of attempted escapes and previous beatings of prison personnel, from a day room to a cell.

Judge: Texas Must Name Gay Spouse on Death Certificate

Pamela Holwerds holds up her marriage license following the ceremony that married over 40 same-sex couples on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol in Austin on July 4, 2015.
Pamela Holwerds holds up her marriage license following the ceremony that married over 40 same-sex couples on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol in Austin on July 4, 2015.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Conroe resident by naming him as the surviving spouse on his late husband's death certificate. The judge also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to appear in court.

Challenged Vetoes Leave $200 Million in Limbo

Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.

With varying degrees of concern, a smattering of government offices and institutions around the state are waiting to learn the fate of more than $200 million in funds that the governor might — or might not — have excised from the state budget.