31 Days, 31 Ways (2015)

Throughout August 2015, The Texas Tribune featured 31 ways Texans' lives would change because of new laws on Sept. 1, the date many bills passed by the Legislature — including the budget — took effect.

Todd Wiseman

Relaxed Food Stamp Rules to Help Felons

Starting Sept. 1, a new Texas law will allow people with felony drug convictions to qualify for food assistance, ending the lifetime ban they currently face. Supporters hope the change will reduce recidivism as it helps felons get back on their feet. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series

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Ken Teegardin

Employee Outsourcing Firms Get Tax Break

A politically connected group of businesses will soon be getting a tax break, but all the other employers in Texas will have to pay for it through slightly higher unemployment insurance tax rates. A new law granting the tax break will make it more attractive for businesses to outsource their human resources operations. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series

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Elizabeth Brixton

Video: New Law to Provide Protections for Breast-Feeding Moms

As of Sept. 1, public employees — including state and county workers and public school teachers — will be guaranteed “reasonable accommodations” to pump breast milk in the workplace. Those include sufficient break times and a private room, such as a single-person bathroom, where employees can pump. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series

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Foster Care Youth Getting State Ombudsman

When children enter the Texas foster care system, they're given a suitcase, some clothing and state-funded health insurance. Starting Sept. 1, they will get something else they sorely need: muscle to help them navigate the system, find their caseworkers and report complaints. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Source: Joshua Raef

Parents Guaranteed Right to Bury Stillborn Babies

Moved by the story of an Amarillo family, legislators have guaranteed parents the right to the remains of their stillborn children. Most Texas hospitals would release the remains of stillborn infants to parents if asked, but some had interpreted state law to classify fetal remains less than 350 grams as "medical waste." This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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