Karen Brooks Harper
reports on health and human services. An alumna of the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School, Karen arrived in Texas in 1995 to join the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, spent several years in Laredo and Mexico covering immigration and the drug war for Knight-Ridder newspapers, and has covered Texas politics for more than two decades for news organizations including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dallas Morning News and Reuters.
The preliminary budgets by House and Senate call for $130.1 billion in state spending over two years, even though tens of billions more are available to them. The bills do not bust state or constitutional spending limits. Full Story
It’s far more money than legislators have ever had at their disposal, with an increase in available funds that dwarfs any previous jumps between cycles. It’s also more money than lawmakers can constitutionally spend. Full Story
Texas homeowners have some of the highest property tax bills in the nation, a byproduct of the state’s reliance on such taxes to help pay for public schools and the state’s lack of an income tax. Full Story