Amid Nevada fight, Texas in its own land dispute

Outgoing Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the front-runner in the race to succeed him, are accusing the federal government of trying to seize property they say belongs to local cattle ranchers, a dispute that involves the same agency currently embroiled in an armed standoff over land in Nevada. The two insist politics has nothing to do with their recent public criticism of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which says it has no plans to seize private property in Texas.

Future of state incentive funds debated

Thursday’s hearing was a chance for Gov. Rick Perry’s economic development team to take a victory lap as Perry’s term runs out, but it also was an opportunity to discuss how Texas could fall behind in the competition to recruit businesses and encourage startups.

Texas appeals court halts ruling in same-sex divorce case

The 4th Court of Appeals ruling came two days after state District Judge Barbara Hanson Nellermoe of San Antonio let the divorce case continue because, she said in a five-page opinion, the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional and therefore invalid. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked the appeals court to overturn Nellermoe’s decision as legally erroneous and a violation of her judicial authority.

Appellate court puts brakes on same-sex divorce ruling

A state district judge on Tuesday ruled that Texas' restrictions on same-sex marriage, and therefore divorce, were unconstitutional. — After a plea from the state attorney general, an appeals court Thursday put a temporary hold on a San Antonio-based judge's ruling this week that Texas' restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

BLM proves useful for Texas politicos

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott led the charge, suggesting the BLM, the political right's newest federal bogeyman, is poised to try to seize up to 90,000 acres from private landowners along a 116-mile stretch of the river that forms the natural boundary between Texas and Oklahoma.

The Future of 'Corporate Welfare' in Texas after Rick Perry

Is it too early to consider Rick Perry’s legacy? Some state lawmakers already are, at least indirectly. Legislators are considering what to do with some of the guv’s signature programs, the big corporate subsidy funds that have been plagued by charges of cronyism and inefficiency since their inception.

Perry's office: Don't mess with job-creating funds

Top aides to Gov. Rick Perry say it would be unwise for the next Texas governor to uproot lucrative economic development programs that have stirred growing discontent among Republicans. A Texas House panel considered Thursday what should happen to the Texas Enterprise Fund and Emerging Technology Fund if the next governor is adverse to two of Perry's signature programs.

El Paso Struggles With Lack of English-Speaking Foster Homes

On the heels of an expansion of Fort Bliss in recent years, El Paso is seeing an increase in the number of children who can't be placed in foster homes because there aren't enough English-speaking homes available. It's a unique problem that stems from the demographic disparity between the population in the city and on the base.

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramp Up Efforts in Valley

U.S. Border Patrol agents say the illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region. In response, an influx of agents from California, Arizona and Laredo have arrived in the area.

Voters Could Approve Billions in Debt in May Elections

Cities and school districts across Texas are asking voters to approve more than $6.6 billion in local debt in next month's bond elections. The elections are drawing attention to the state’s growing amount of local debt, which accounts for 85 percent of the state’s total debt.

The Brief: Head of Embattled Sex Offender Agency Leaves

Head of embattled sex offender agency leaves; Voters could approve billions in debt in May elections; Third chief in a month to Be named at Juvenile Justice Department; El Paso struggles with lack of English-speaking foster homes; U.S. Border Patrol agents ramp up efforts in Valley.

The Growing Revolt Against The Secure Communities Deportation Program

WASHINGTON -- Last Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) announced a significant change to the city's law enforcement policies. Going forward, Philadelphia officials would no longer acquiesce to the federal government's requests that they hold certain undocumented immigrants for extra time solely for deportation purposes.

Time 100 — Pioneers — Katharine Hayhoe

  • suggested by Evan Smith

There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype. That’s what makes my friend Katharine Hayhoe — a Texas Tech climatologist and an evangelical Christian — so interesting.

Cruz endorses Sasse for Nebraska Senate

  • suggested by John Reynolds

Cruz will attend a rally for Sasse, along with former Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), on Friday. Sasse has picked up the endorsements of nearly every national conservative group or leader to have weighed in on the race, and recent polling has shown him gaining on the other front-runner, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn.

FEC backs bitcoins for campaigns

  • suggested by John Reynolds

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday indicated support for a request to allow campaigns to accept bitcoins ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. The commission delayed a formal vote on a petition to be able to accept up to $100 worth of the money, but commissioners seemed optimistic that they could draft a compromise to allow a limited amount of contributions in the virtual currency.

Study: Sales taxes took bite out of Amazon's sales

  • suggested by John Reynolds

The study, from three Ohio State researchers, found that Amazon got around 10 percent less business in five states – California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia – that installed a new sales tax on online purchases.