News For October, 2009

Caleb Bryant Miller

Reluctantly out in front

Most elected officials greet a chairmanship with some excitement. Gail Lowe, the Lampasas Republican who recently became the chair of the State Board of Education, is approaching her new title with some apprehension.

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Changing the Odds

Signing anti-tax pledges — as both of the leading Republican candidates for governor have now done — warms the hearts of gambling promoters. Not because Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison suddenly become proponents of casino gambling, but because gambling often gets stuck in a threesome with program cuts and tax increases and that setup is what made it legal to bet on bingo, horses, dogs, and the lottery in Texas.

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And the Winner is...

by Matt Stiles, The Texas Tribune
 Gov. Rick Perry appointed Houston appellate court justice Eva Guzman to the Texas Supreme Court, making the 48-year-old the first Latina to serve on that court.

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Ross Ramsey

Is there a doctor on the line?

Emergency medical technicians and entry-level nurses could be cut out of the telemedicine equation under a proposal the Texas Medical Board is considering. The change would prohibit anyone but doctors, physicians' assistants and advanced practice nurses from presenting patients for care via long-distance videoconferencing – a move rural hospitals and prison doctors adamantly oppose.

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Keeping Count

Texas should create a committee to promote participation in the 2010 U.S. Census, state Rep. Mike Villarreal told Gov. Rick Perry in a letter Tuesday.

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Shapleigh's out and then what?

El Paso state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh's surprise announcement that he won't seek another term in the Texas Senate in 2010 set off speculation about his plans for higher office — and a vigorous fight to replace him.

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Best-Laid Plans

It's hard to believe the governor saw this coming. When Rick Perry decided to replace the a board on the eve of a hearing about the evidence that sent a Texas man to the executioner, he couldn't have been thinking the story would grow legs and stomp all around his bid for reelection.

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Pickett won't charge

Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, said today he decided not to run for the Texas Senate seat being vacated by state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh.

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Teacher Credentials May Be Nullified By Feds

Thousands of "highly qualified" Texas public school teachers don't actually meet the federal definition for that standard — which could jeopardize their jobs and will certainly cause bureaucratic headaches for them and their school systems.

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Texas educators vent at feds over teacher test mess

Annoyed at a recent federal ruling that could nullify the credentials of thousands of public school teachers, Texas education advocates want Washington to waive a technicality they say would cause teachers and districts needless headaches.

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Exit notices for some, but not all

On the day Gov. Rick Perry removed three forensic science commissioners, citing their expired terms, at least 100 appointees whose time was also up remained in their jobs.

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Rat Race

A bill lawmakers passed to prevent doctors and attorneys from so-called "ambulance chasing" faces a constitutional challenge from — who else? — a chiropractor and a lawyer.

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2010: TAM endorses Perry

The Texas Association of Manufacturers — one of the first groups to back the 2006 rewrite of the corporate franchise tax — endorsed Gov. Rick Perry over U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

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Todd Wiseman

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