HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

The San Domingo Cemetery in Normanna, Texas. Donna Barrera claims she was told that  her deceased husband Pedro could not be buried in the cemetery because of his Hispanic ethnicity.
The San Domingo Cemetery in Normanna, Texas. Donna Barrera claims she was told that her deceased husband Pedro could not be buried in the cemetery because of his Hispanic ethnicity.

Texas Cemetery Sued Over “Whites Only” Policy

Dorothy Barrera hoped she and her late husband would eventually be together again at the San Domingo Cemetery, but she says the cemetery association refused to allow her husband's burial because he was Hispanic. A federal lawsuit now accuses the cemetery of enforcing an illegal "whites-only" policy left over from Jim Crow days.

Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.
Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.

Cuts Hit Early Childhood Intervention Program

Nonprofit providers of pediatric therapy services say sweeping budget cuts ordered by state lawmakers will jeopardize the Early Childhood Intervention program in particular.

Cuts Hit Early Childhood Intervention Program

Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.
Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.

Nonprofit providers of pediatric therapy services say sweeping budget cuts ordered by state lawmakers will jeopardize the Early Childhood Intervention program in particular.

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.

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.

 

Lawmakers Hear Litany of Foster Care Woes

DFPS Commissioner John Specia appears before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee at the Texas Capitol on April 20, 2016.
DFPS Commissioner John Specia appears before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee at the Texas Capitol on April 20, 2016.

The state’s child welfare agency faces a $40 million budget shortfall, a critical shortage of good homes for foster children and overwhelming caseloads for staff, agency leaders told state lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday.

Court Ends Challenge to State's First Legal Same-Sex Marriage License

Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.
Sarah Goodfriend, second from left, and Suzanne Bryant, center, with their daughters (far left and far right) and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, second from right. DeBeauvoir issued Goodfriend and Bryant a marriage license on Feb. 19, 2015.

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday tossed out Attorney General Ken Paxton’s effort to undo the union of the first gay couple to legally wed in Texas.

The Meadows Foundation, RGK Foundation and Burdine Johnson Foundation have supported health care coverage at The Texas Tribune.

No State Laws Keep Eye on the Tigers

Animal control officers in Conroe, Texas captured a young female tiger wandering the streets on April 21 after widespread flooding in the Houston area.
Animal control officers in Conroe, Texas captured a young female tiger wandering the streets on April 21 after widespread flooding in the Houston area.

A tiger left roaming the streets of Conroe after last week's floods has unearthed a unique complication: There are few statewide regulations regarding dangerous wild animals in Texas.

Chris Traylor, Head of Massive Texas Health Commission, Announces Retirement

Texas Health and Human Services deputy commissioner Chris Traylor at the "Future Of State Health Policy" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 22, 2012.
Texas Health and Human Services deputy commissioner Chris Traylor at the "Future Of State Health Policy" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 22, 2012.

Chris Traylor, the head of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, has confirmed he will retire from the agency at the end of next month, ending a 26-year career in public service.

Texas Health Commissioner Reportedly Retiring

Texas Health and Human Services deputy commissioner Chris Traylor at the "Future Of State Health Policy" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 22, 2012.
Texas Health and Human Services deputy commissioner Chris Traylor at the "Future Of State Health Policy" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 22, 2012.

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor plans to retire at the end of May after 11 months on the job, according to sources briefed on the decision.