GOVERNMENT: State Agencies

Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.
Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid spoke during an Aug. 11, 2014, town hall meeting, where attendees debated whether to put a $175 million bond up to Keller ISD voters in the general election.

Critics Say Bond Elections Lack True Transparency

Texas voters approve billions of dollars in new local debt each year. A growing group of critics argues that voters wouldn't be so agreeable if they were more clearly informed of the debt that's already owed in their name.

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.
Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.

Senators Debate Funding, Merits of National Guard Deployment

At a state Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, senators debated the merits and tactical strategies of Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send Texas National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senators Debate Funding, Merits of National Guard Deployment

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.
Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.

At a state Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, senators debated the merits and tactical strategies of Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send Texas National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Government Salary Database Updated

Opening Statements Made in Trial Over Abortion Regulation

A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The organization announced the clinic was shutting down Thursday, July 31.
A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The organization announced the clinic was shutting down Thursday, July 31.

UPDATED: Attorneys made their opening arguments Monday in a U.S. district court trial over a provision that requires abortion facilities to meet the same regulations as ambulatory surgical centers. 

Health Program Changes Could Increase Access to Contraceptive Products

Patients are shown checking out in 2010 at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, a safety-net clinic that serves Medicaid recipients and the underinsured.
Patients are shown checking out in 2010 at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, a safety-net clinic that serves Medicaid recipients and the underinsured.

Texas women who receive state-financed health services may be able to more easily access contraceptive products like intrauterine devices and hormonal implants beginning Friday, when rule changes to the state’s Medicaid program and the Texas Women’s Health Program go into effect.

Texas Considering No Longer Licensing X-Ray Technicians

Dr. Javier Saenz, who has a medical practice in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya, prepared his clinic’s X-ray machine in 2012.
Dr. Javier Saenz, who has a medical practice in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya, prepared his clinic’s X-ray machine in 2012.

Texas is considering doing away with the licensing of X-ray technicians and 11 other types of health professionals. Some say that would put patients at risk. A Sunset Commission hearing Wednesday is set to address the issue.

Abbott, Cruz Blame Obama for "Humanitarian Crisis"

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (left), R-Flower Mound, joined Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for a news conference on June 23, 2014, after touring a Lackland Air Force Base facility in San Antonio that was serving as a shelter for unaccompanied minors who crossed the border.
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (left), R-Flower Mound, joined Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for a news conference on June 23, 2014, after touring a Lackland Air Force Base facility in San Antonio that was serving as a shelter for unaccompanied minors who crossed the border.

Warning of the dangers faced by undocumented and unaccompanied children crossing the border into the U.S., Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday called on the Obama administration to more strictly enforce immigration laws. 

 

Women Want State’s Help in Pelvic Mesh Fight

Aaron Leigh Johnson-Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, prepares gifts to mail to women with complications from a mesh implant at her home in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2014.
Aaron Leigh Johnson-Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, prepares gifts to mail to women with complications from a mesh implant at her home in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2014.

While thousands of women across the country are engaged in lawsuits against manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants, a Texas group is trying to get the state to take action against a company that makes the medical devices.