All Hail Austin, Texas, the Boomingest Big City of All

  • suggested by Evan Smith

Stories about America's urban renaissance have become something of a cliché by now. But there's a reason for that—they're true! Big cities are growing faster than the country as a whole, which is basically for the best (dense urban areas tend to be more efficient and economically productive, after all). And today, the Census Bureau shared its estimates of which locales have expanded quickest in these post-recession years. Among the 25 largest cities in the country, top prize goes to Austin, Texas, which experienced a 12 percent population surge between 2010 and 2013.

Remembering Former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong

Mention the name Bob Armstrong and chances are, even now that he’s gone, the response will be a smile and then a story. Like the story former Gov. Mark White tells about the 1982 gubernatorial primary when he and Armstrong were rivals, along with a third candidate, Buddy Temple.

White House, Elizabeth Warren team up to roll back GOP state dominance

  • suggested by John Reynolds

The meetings are billed mostly as discussions of the group’s economic equality agenda, which seeks minimum wage hikes, equal pay measures, family leave benefits, collective bargaining protections and increased access to pre-kindergarten and higher education. But more broadly, they seem to signal that national Democrats are finally gearing up to counter a well-financed network of conservative groups led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC) that for years has dominated state policy battles.

Rising Local Debt Draws Attention of Legislature

State coffers are flush with cash, but local governments are continuing to borrow heavily to provide services. State legislators have filed more than a dozen bills aimed at how cities, counties and school districts can borrow money. You can see the tax-supported debt held by your city, county and school district using our updated Local Debt Explorer.

Book by Sen. Ted Cruz to be published June 30

Sen. Ted Cruz's book, "A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Miracle of America," is coming out this summer. HarperCollins Publishers told The Associated Press on Thursday that it has set a June 30 release date for the book, for which Cruz reached a reported seven-figure deal last year.

In shadow of 1999 deal, Austin is tied to Colorado River for decades

As some local governments across Central Texas fret over whether they’ll have enough of a water supply for growth, Austin appears likely to double down on its ties to the Colorado River. That’s because more than 15 years ago, a Kirk Watson-led City Council inked a $100 million agreement to guarantee Colorado River water to Austin through at least 2050.

Hillary Clinton email flap creates awkward GOP silence

  • suggested by David Pasztor

If it seems like the GOP presidential field has been unusually silent this week as scrutiny mounts over Hillary Clinton’s email practices, there’s a logical explanation: Many of them are tormented by their own email demons.

UT System chancellor to take the lead

New University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven now has the authority to act on behalf of the UT System Board of Regents to “windup” matters that UT Brownsville and UT Pan American still have pending before UT Rio Grande Valley begins classes in August.

Lawmakers, Wal-Mart seek to end liquor sales prohibition

While two state lawmakers recently filed legislation that would allow retail giant Wal-Mart and other public corporations to sell hard liquor in Texas, the proposed bills maintain provisions that would prevent grocery chains H-E-B and Whole Foods from joining the competition.

Menendez takes oath in Senate

AUSTIN — José Menéndez took office Wednesday as San Antonio’s newest state Senator in a ceremony that featured the Alamo City Democrat urging his new colleagues in the upper chamber to chart a bipartisan course regardless of what “political price may come.”