HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks to supporters at Lavazza Espression on Congress Avenue in Austin.
Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks to supporters at Lavazza Espression on Congress Avenue in Austin.

Abbott’s Office Files Brief Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office filed a brief Monday arguing that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage is constitutionally sound and a matter for voters, not courts, to decide. Abbott's office argues that promoting opposite-sex marriage encourages the birth of children “in the context of stable, lasting relationships.”

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.

The Brief: July 28, 2014

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bob Ray Sanders is pushing back against one major tenet of the conventional wisdom surrounding the race for governor: Wendy Davis needs to maintain a healthy separation between her and President Obama.

Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.
Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.

Housing Crunch Hurts Foster Care Oversight

The oil boom has brought jobs and prosperity to Midland and Odessa, but it has also driven up housing prices, making it difficult for the Department of Family and Protective Services to hire caseworkers.

 

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

The Brief: July 25, 2014

Can those National Guard troops being sent to the border arrest people? The latest word is they can. And the reason why is that Rick Perry sent them, and not the federal government.

The Brief: July 28, 2014

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bob Ray Sanders is pushing back against one major tenet of the conventional wisdom surrounding the race for governor: Wendy Davis needs to maintain a healthy separation between her and President Obama.

Housing Crunch Hurts Foster Care Oversight

Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.
Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.

The oil boom has brought jobs and prosperity to Midland and Odessa, but it has also driven up housing prices, making it difficult for the Department of Family and Protective Services to hire caseworkers.

 

The Brief: July 25, 2014

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

Can those National Guard troops being sent to the border arrest people? The latest word is they can. And the reason why is that Rick Perry sent them, and not the federal government.

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Series: The Politics of Prevention

Lawmakers Hear Tales of Foster Care Woes

State lawmakers have already met several times this year to discuss rampant and persistent problems in the state's foster care system. On Thursday, they heard from former foster youths to find out what needs to be changed.

Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions

A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.
A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.

Abortions in Texas decreased by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley after strict abortion regulations went into effect last November, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Brief: July 21, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will make a border security announcement at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol. The two are expected to announce the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley.

The Brief: July 18, 2014

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst gives his concession speech after loosing his reelection bid to Sen. Dan Patrick on May 27th, 2014
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst gives his concession speech after loosing his reelection bid to Sen. Dan Patrick on May 27th, 2014

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is on his way out in a few months, but on Thursday he moved to fill some key Senate leadership slots to help the chamber prepare for the coming legislative session in January.

The Brief: July 17, 2014

Texas gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis addresses delegates at the Black Caucus at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, June 27, 2014.
Texas gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis addresses delegates at the Black Caucus at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, June 27, 2014.

Wendy Davis' fundraising figures from Tuesday that showed her raising slightly more money than her GOP rival for governor are now being questioned.

The Brief: July 16, 2014

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.
Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.

Greg Abbott's disclosure that he has close to $36 million in the bank as the campaign for governor starts to kick into high gear dominated a day where he and his Democratic rival Wendy Davis posted big fundraising numbers.

The Meadows Foundation, RGK Foundation and Burdine Johnson Foundation have supported health care coverage at The Texas Tribune.

The Brief: July 23, 2014

DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.
DPS chief Steve McCraw outlines plans for the National Guard role securing the Texas border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listen on July 21, 2014.

Story lines continue to spin out from Gov. Rick Perry's Monday announcement that he was activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to back up existing DPS border operations. 

Report Sheds Light on Workers Losing Out on Health Coverage

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Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.
Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.

Of the roughly 1.5 million more people who would have health insurance if Texas expanded Medicaid, more than half of them work in the state's booming service industry, according to a new report.

The Brief: July 22, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of National Guard troops along the Texas border as Texas Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listens at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of National Guard troops along the Texas border as Texas Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listens at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2014.

The words of the day on Monday were "force multiplier," as in what Gov. Rick Perry said the activation of up to 1,000 National Guard troops would do for the border surge effort already underway by the Department of Public Safety.