GOVERNMENT: State Agencies

A young girl plays outside her home in the Pueblo de Palmas colonia near Mission, Texas, on Aug. 29, 2013.
A young girl plays outside her home in the Pueblo de Palmas colonia near Mission, Texas, on Aug. 29, 2013.

State Waits for Directions to Declassify Colonias

The state has worked for decades to halt the proliferation of colonias, but it has no way to declassify communities that have outgrown the colonia description. The secretary of state's Colonia Initiatives Program has asked lawmakers for help, but no legislation has been filed so far, and it is unclear whether it will even be addressed.

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Racing Commission Still at Risk of Being Cut Off

Hell hath no fury like a Senate scorned, the head of the Texas Racing Commission found Wednesday when he tried to make peace with the Senate Finance Committee. The commission ignored lawmakers on a key racing vote, and its budget remains zeroed out. 

Racing Commission Still at Risk of Being Cut Off

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Hell hath no fury like a Senate scorned, the head of the Texas Racing Commission found Wednesday when he tried to make peace with the Senate Finance Committee. The commission ignored lawmakers on a key racing vote, and its budget remains zeroed out. 

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Government Salary Database Updated

Was 21CT Contract Built on Lie to Federal Agency?

Former HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson, left, and his former second-in-command, Jack Stick.
Former HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson, left, and his former second-in-command, Jack Stick.

When the Texas Health and Human Services Commission asked the federal government for $18 million to foot most of the bill for new Medicaid fraud tracking software, it assured Washington counterparts the deal had been competitively bid. That was not true.

Agriculture Commissioner Grants Amnesty to Cupcakes in First Official Act

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller declares cupcake amnesty at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller declares cupcake amnesty at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.

In his first official act as Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller granted full amnesty to cupcakes. Miller was seeking to reassure Texas parents that it's legal to bring cupcakes and other treats to school — and that he'll protect that right.