Karen Brooks Harper
reports on the state budget and 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. She is based in Austin.
U.S. District Judge Janis Jack on Monday considers whether state’s foster care agency has made progress caring for most vulnerable children or should be held in contempt for the third time in an ongoing 2011 lawsuit. Full Story
Experts argue other assertions made in the lawsuit filing are completely unsubstantiated, such as one claiming that vaccinated people were more likely to die from COVID-19, which Texas health data disputes. Full Story
According to new Texas Demographic Center figures, the Austin region continues to grow at the fastest rate, but Fort Worth was the city that attracted the most new residents between 2020 and 2023. Full Story
A report from Department of Family and Protective Services watchdogs paints a picture of a roughshod safety-net system that is unprepared to protect its youthful charges from predators and unable to keep them from endangering themselves. Full Story
If bills now being considered pass, lawmakers will be left with $3.3 billion to take care of unforeseen costs over the next two years. Some experts worry that Texas can’t sustain its massive spending on the border and public education. Full Story