HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Tiger Whitehead and his children Logic and Domnick, who used SNAP and the the Sustainable Food Center Farmer's Market double dollars coupons, shopping at the Farmer's Market at 2835 East MLK Blvd. in Austin on March 19, 2013.
Tiger Whitehead and his children Logic and Domnick, who used SNAP and the the Sustainable Food Center Farmer's Market double dollars coupons, shopping at the Farmer's Market at 2835 East MLK Blvd. in Austin on March 19, 2013.

Texas Households on Food Stamps Almost Tripled Since 2000

In 2013, 1.3 million Texas households received food stamps — up from 505,968 in 2000, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

The Brief: March 2, 2015

The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.
The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.

The Tribune's Jay Root and Neena Satija filed a story over the weekend on the problem of deferred maintenance at state government buildings in multiple agencies. It makes for some grim reading.

The Brief: Feb. 19, 2015

Health and Human Services Commission head Kyle Janek (l.) and state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who called for his resignation on Jan. 15, 2015.
Health and Human Services Commission head Kyle Janek (l.) and state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who called for his resignation on Jan. 15, 2015.

Senate budget writers on Wednesday lit into Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, a former senator himself, in a hearing that concluded with another call for him to resign.

The Brief: Feb. 16, 2015

State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.

Bipartisan appears to be a dirty word in a couple of the special election contests set to be finally decided on Tuesday.

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

Lawmakers Push "Right to Try" Experimental Drugs

Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.
Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.

It’s kind of like Dallas Buyers Club: A group of sick Texans is seeking to gain access to experimental drugs — only this time, a flurry of state lawmakers is rushing to help them. In Austin, the movement hits a personal chord. 

Paxton Asks Court to Void Marriage License of Gay Couple

Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.
Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to void a marriage license issued to two Austin women who became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state.

The Brief: Feb. 20, 2015

Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.
Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.

An Austin lesbian couple obtained a marriage license Thursday morning, but the status of what would be the state's first gay marriage was in flux by the afternoon after the Texas Supreme Court issued a stay.

Austin Gay Couple Becomes First to Wed in Texas, Despite Ban

Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.
Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.

Two Austin women made history Thursday when they became the first gay couple to legally wed in the state. But after the Texas Supreme Court intervened, attorneys for the state and for the couple disagreed on whether the marriage is valid.