GOVERNMENT

Texas Grand Jury Selection to Become More Random

Texas is on the verge of overhauling the way it selects grand jurors, shifting away from an antiquated process that critics say creates the potential for conflicts of interest. That process has only drawn more attention with national turmoil over policing and race. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series. 

La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana in 1684, painted in 1844 by Jean Antoine Théodore de Gudin. La Belle, left, sank in present-day Matagorda Bay.
La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana in 1684, painted in 1844 by Jean Antoine Théodore de Gudin. La Belle, left, sank in present-day Matagorda Bay.

Buried Treasure: State Budget Hides a Mystery

Lawmakers approved giving $200,000 to a community college that doesn't want it to fund a maritime museum that doesn't exist, and now the Legislative Budget Board may scuttle Gov. Greg Abbott's bid to reclaim the loot.

Buried Treasure: State Budget Hides a Mystery

La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana in 1684, painted in 1844 by Jean Antoine Théodore de Gudin. La Belle, left, sank in present-day Matagorda Bay.
La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana in 1684, painted in 1844 by Jean Antoine Théodore de Gudin. La Belle, left, sank in present-day Matagorda Bay.

Lawmakers approved giving $200,000 to a community college that doesn't want it to fund a maritime museum that doesn't exist, and now the Legislative Budget Board may scuttle Gov. Greg Abbott's bid to reclaim the loot.

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Government Salary Database Updated

Challenged Vetoes Leave $200 Million in Limbo

Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.

With varying degrees of concern, a smattering of government offices and institutions around the state are waiting to learn the fate of more than $200 million in funds that the governor might — or might not — have excised from the state budget.

McCraw Hammered at Hearing on Bland Case

DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw answers questions from State Rep. Garnet Coleman during invited testimony of the House Committee on County Affairs investigating the Sandra Bland death in Waller County on July 30, 2015.
DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw answers questions from State Rep. Garnet Coleman during invited testimony of the House Committee on County Affairs investigating the Sandra Bland death in Waller County on July 30, 2015.

State lawmakers grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on Thursday, voicing concerns about arrest procedures used by state police and pressing the agency head to explain the July 10 arrest of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged three days later in the Waller County Jail.

Paxton No Stranger to Controversial Deals

TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015
TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015

Even before Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton admitted he violated civil securities laws — or faced a subsequent criminal investigation — his private business dealings had been under fire from watchdogs and political opponents.