GOVERNMENT

The Austin State Hospital is shown on April 29, 2016. Despite an infusion of funding from lawmakers for the state’s mental health care system, Texas struggles to provide psychiatric care for all patients who need it.
The Austin State Hospital is shown on April 29, 2016. Despite an infusion of funding from lawmakers for the state’s mental health care system, Texas struggles to provide psychiatric care for all patients who need it.

State Spending More on Mental Health Care, but Waitlist for Beds Grows

Texas lawmakers tout recent improvements to the state’s mental health safety net, citing new funding and and the expansion of certain programs. But the state still struggles to provide psychiatric care for all patients who need it.

State Spending More on Mental Health Care, but Waitlist for Beds Grows

The Austin State Hospital is shown on April 29, 2016. Despite an infusion of funding from lawmakers for the state’s mental health care system, Texas struggles to provide psychiatric care for all patients who need it.
The Austin State Hospital is shown on April 29, 2016. Despite an infusion of funding from lawmakers for the state’s mental health care system, Texas struggles to provide psychiatric care for all patients who need it.

Texas lawmakers tout recent improvements to the state’s mental health safety net, citing new funding and and the expansion of certain programs. But the state still struggles to provide psychiatric care for all patients who need it.

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Company Says it Will Fill Gap if Uber, Lyft Leave Austin After Vote

Austin-based vehicle-for-hire company Get Me LLC, which it stylizes as getme, says it will continue operating in Austin if voters reject a proposed ordinance preventing fingerprint background checks for drivers. The company claims it will be able to address the city's ride-hailing needs if Uber and Lyft leave.
Austin-based vehicle-for-hire company Get Me LLC, which it stylizes as getme, says it will continue operating in Austin if voters reject a proposed ordinance preventing fingerprint background checks for drivers. The company claims it will be able to address the city's ride-hailing needs if Uber and Lyft leave.

Uber and Lyft have pledged to leave Austin if the city votes down an ordinance preventing fingerprint-based background checks. But a smaller Austin-based company called getme insists it can fill the gap.

Analysis: Texas Lawmaker Says Sunset Process Has Lost Some of Its Glow

Chairman State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, sponsor of HB 910 open carry legislation, just before final passage of the bill April 17, 2015 by a 96-35 House vote.
Chairman State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, sponsor of HB 910 open carry legislation, just before final passage of the bill April 17, 2015 by a 96-35 House vote.

If state Rep. Larry Phillips gets his way, the Sunset Advisory Commission could be up for the sort of operational review it's used to dishing out to other state agencies — forcing the agency to justify its existence.

Pay is Climbing Fast for Texas University Leaders

Texas chancellors William McRaven of UT, John Sharp of Texas A&M and Brian McCall of Texas State at the Senate Higher Education Committee meeting on April 26, 2016.
Texas chancellors William McRaven of UT, John Sharp of Texas A&M and Brian McCall of Texas State at the Senate Higher Education Committee meeting on April 26, 2016.

In the past four years, the total pay for chancellors and presidents of Texas universities and systems has grown 70 percent, from an average total compensation of $565,000 in 2012 to an average of $955,000 now.

Child Abuse Case Resurfaces in Railroad Commission Race

A 2011 photo of Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.
A 2011 photo of Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.

Sixteen years ago, CPS staffers accused Gary and Melissa Gates of abuse and removed their 13 children from their home. That case fizzled quickly, but the allegations and ensuing legal fight continue to provide fodder for Gates' political opponents.

 

Bathroom Battle Begins Taking Hold in Texas

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was interviewed by Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on Oct. 16, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was interviewed by Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on Oct. 16, 2015.

Activists, lawmakers and state leaders are eyeing Texas as the next battleground in what has become an explosive national debate: the right of transgender people to decide which bathroom they use.