Damon Smith helps unload a truckload of food and supplies at the Southeast Texas Food Bank in Beaumont on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. 
<p><span>Damon Smith helps unload a truckload of food and supplies at the Southeast Texas Food Bank in Beaumont on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.&nbsp;</span></p>

Along the Texas coast, food banks brace for post-Harvey need

Food banks, pantries and other food access advocates are bracing for increased need in communities that struggled with food insecurity even before Hurricane Harvey — and planning how to meet needs in the months of recovery still ahead.

 
Members of the Texas congressional delegation from both parties discuss funding for recovery from Harvey at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7, 2017.
<p>Members of the Texas congressional delegation from both parties discuss funding for recovery from Harvey at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7, 2017.</p>

The Brief: Food insecurity in focus after Harvey

Food banks and pantries in Harvey-affected areas are bracing for the months of recovery that lay ahead. 

A freestanding emergency room provides 24-hour acute care in the Mueller neighborhood of Austin on July 10, 2017. As of Sept. 1, 2017, facilities like this one are required to post a notice of which health insurance networks they participate in, if any.
<p>A freestanding emergency room provides 24-hour acute care in the Mueller neighborhood of Austin on July 10, 2017. As of Sept. 1, 2017, facilities like this one are required to post a notice of which health insurance networks they participate in, if any.</p>

New law seeks to prevent surprise medical bills from freestanding ERs

A new law requires Texas' freestanding emergency rooms to more clearly communicate what health insurance networks they're in, if any.

 

The Brief: Food insecurity in focus after Harvey

Members of the Texas congressional delegation from both parties discuss funding for recovery from Harvey at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7, 2017.
<p>Members of the Texas congressional delegation from both parties discuss funding for recovery from Harvey at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7, 2017.</p>

Food banks and pantries in Harvey-affected areas are bracing for the months of recovery that lay ahead. 

New law seeks to prevent surprise medical bills from freestanding ERs

A freestanding emergency room provides 24-hour acute care in the Mueller neighborhood of Austin on July 10, 2017. As of Sept. 1, 2017, facilities like this one are required to post a notice of which health insurance networks they participate in, if any.
<p>A freestanding emergency room provides 24-hour acute care in the Mueller neighborhood of Austin on July 10, 2017. As of Sept. 1, 2017, facilities like this one are required to post a notice of which health insurance networks they participate in, if any.</p>

A new law requires Texas' freestanding emergency rooms to more clearly communicate what health insurance networks they're in, if any.

 

 

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Hell and High Water: How Houston is ill-prepared for a hurricane

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus calls for removal of "inaccurate" Confederate plaque

The "Children of the Confederacy Creed" plaque, highlighted in a letter state Rep. Eric Johnson sent to the&nbsp;State Preservation Board, asking that it be taken down.
<p>The "Children of the Confederacy Creed" plaque, highlighted in a letter state Rep. Eric Johnson sent to the&nbsp;<span>State Preservation Board, asking that it be taken down.</span></p>

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus asked the State Preservation Board to take down a plaque at the Capitol that asserts that slavery was not the underlying cause of the Civil War.

Homeowners join lawsuit against Crosby chemical plant that burned after Hurricane Harvey

The Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas is covered in&nbsp;debris after a series of chemical fires that occurred as a result of floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.
<p><span>The Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas is covered in&nbsp;debris after a series of chemical fires that occurred as a result of floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.</span></p>

Eleven additional plaintiffs and a new defendant have been added to a lawsuit against the company whose manufacturing plant experienced a series of chemical fires as a result of floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. 

Abbott, Paxton send Trump letter requesting FEMA funding for churches

Gov. Greg Abbott (center) at a press conference with State Rep. Todd Hunter (left), FEMA Director Brock Long and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (center) in Corpus Christi on Aug. 28, 2017.
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott (center) at a press conference with State Rep. Todd Hunter (left), FEMA Director Brock Long and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (center) in Corpus Christi on Aug. 28, 2017.</p>

The letter comes after Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, along with Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, introduced an act to make houses of worship eligible for FEMA Public Assistance program grants. 

How some see Texas as the "gold standard" against wrongful convictions

Christopher Scott, wrongfully convicted of murder, tells his story next to a photo of fellow exonerees in a Dallas office in July 2017.&nbsp;
<p><span>Christopher Scott, wrongfully convicted of murder, tells his story next to a photo of fellow exonerees in a Dallas office in July 2017.&nbsp;</span></p>

This year, Texas legislators continued efforts to prevent wrongful convictions by passing a law focused on fixing unreliable jailhouse informants, unfair police station lineups and coerced confessions.

Analysis: In politics, you must be present to win

Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tom Noonan joined other business leaders in opposition to SB6, the so-called "bathroom bill, on March 6, 2017.
Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tom Noonan joined other business leaders in opposition to SB6, the so-called "bathroom bill, on March 6, 2017.

House Speaker Joe Straus wants business to stay the course through 2018’s elections and into the 2019 session, buttressing business-friendly Republicans against a conservative tide. It's a lot to ask.

 

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Hell and high water – Riding out Hurricane Harvey

New law aims to help elderly Texans fooled by scammers

Julie Krawczyk, Director of the Elder Financial Safety Center,&nbsp;at the organization's Dallas office on July 17, 2017.
<p><span>Julie Krawczyk, Director of the Elder Financial Safety Center,&nbsp;at the organization's Dallas office on July 17, 2017.</span></p>

A new Texas law gives financial institutions greater authority to stop transactions that they suspect are aimed at defrauding elderly or disabled clients.

Hey, Texplainer: How is FEMA distributing money to areas hit by Harvey?

Floodwaters threaten the Grand Vista neighborhood in Richmond on Aug. 28, 2017. Residents were forced to evacuate due rising water from the Brazos River.
<p><span>Floodwaters threaten the Grand Vista neighborhood in Richmond on Aug. 28, 2017. R<span>esidents were forced to evacuate due rising water from the Brazos River.</span></span></p>

Following Harvey, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested money from the federal government, which has sent nearly $1 billion since the federal disaster declaration issued by President Donald Trump on Aug. 25.

In Houston, low-income residents struggle after losing vehicles in floods

Daniel Gonzalez, who freelances for a remodeling company and can't get to work because his car flooded during Hurricane Harvey,&nbsp;shows a video of his flooded vehicle in Houston on&nbsp;Sept. 14, 2017.&nbsp;
<p><span>Daniel Gonzalez, who freelances for a remodeling company and can't get to work because his car flooded during Hurricane Harvey,&nbsp;</span>shows a video of his flooded vehicle in Houston on&nbsp;Sept. 14, 2017.&nbsp;</p>

In addition to replacing clothes and finding new places to live, many in southeast Texas must repair vehicles or buy new cars. But not being able to get to work for more than three weeks makes that a challenge.