René Oliveira

 Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

Lawmakers weigh changing Texas law that lets rent-to-own stores file criminal charges on customers

The chairman of the House Business & Industry Committee said he was "stunned" to learn there is an obscure law that makes it easy for rent-to-own companies to file criminal charges against customers who fall behind on payments. The committee is looking at changing the law after a joint investigation by The Texas Tribune and NerdWallet.

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 Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson

Injury Data by Race Goes Uncollected in Texas

The Texas Division of Workers' Compensation is not maintaining race data on all valid worker injury claims, despite a law requiring it. Advocates say without the data it's impossible to tell if injured minorities face discrimination at work.

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 Ben Harding

Texas Worker Safety Hotline Falters

State authorities are supposed to maintain a bilingual, 24-hour hotline for workers to report safety violations. Officials acknowledged Friday that the hotline has been inoperative after hours.

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 Illustration by Charles Stricklin/Todd Wiseman

The Evening Brief: Nov. 5, 2013

Your evening reading: toll road swap floated for Austin; Texas Supreme Court hears same-sex divorce cases; new poll shows Abbott with commanding lead

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 Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Stephen Johnson

Bill Would Limit Non-Transferable Sports, Concert Tickets

A bill up for debate in a House committee on Tuesday would prohibit ticket brokers and live event venues from restricting how fans re-sell their tickets. Venues and sports teams say the measure protects scalpers, not consumers.

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 Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Updated: The 2012 Holdouts List

Some are waiting to see what the courts will do. Others want to see if any opponents surface. Regardless, with six days to go until the filing deadline, how many incumbents haven't filed yet? A whole bunch.

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 Graphic by Todd Wiseman / Bob Daemmrich / Spencer Selvidge

Defeated Candidates Ask Voters for Another Shot

They lost in 2010, but some candidates are hoping by now that voters have changed their minds. The 2012 ballot will be stippled with officeholders who were cast out by voters last election but want to try again.

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Mind the Gap

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is holding a public hearing today to present proposed cuts to its budget and to hear feedback. The five-percent reductions are in response to a request for state agenices to slash costs in light of a projected multibillion-dollar state budget shortfall. Ben Philpott, who's covering Texas politics and policy for KUT News and the Tribune, says lawmakers have also started looking for ways to increase revenues.

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