GOVERNMENT: State Agencies

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can transmit the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects, to humans. Officials say there have been no cases of mosquito-to-human transmission in Texas.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can transmit the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects, to humans. Officials say there have been no cases of mosquito-to-human transmission in Texas.

Growing Zika Threat Prompts New Calls for Medicaid Expansion

Advocates for the uninsured are hoping the threat of Zika will spur Republican leaders to consider a massive expansion of subsidized health care to the low-income Texans they say are most vulnerable to the disease. Texas officials have shown little sign of doing so.

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Lawyers: Rule to Bury or Cremate Fetal Remains Could Lead to Suit

An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.
An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.

In a new letter to the state, reproductive rights lawyers argue Texas' proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains "will almost certainly trigger costly litigation."

 

Texas Wants Aborted Fetuses Buried or Cremated

An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.
An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.

In a little-noticed effort to regulate abortion providers, Texas health officials have quietly proposed rules that would require abortion providers to cremate or bury all fetal remains.

 

Pay Caseworkers and Fosters More, Chief Says

Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, took office May 1.
Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, took office May 1.

In a wide-ranging interview, Hank Whitman, the new commissioner overseeing Child Protective Services, explains how he thinks he can turn around a child welfare agency crippled by low morale, high turnover and a spate of high-profile child deaths.