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.

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Michael Stravato

A Funding Boost For Texas' Parks

For years, the Legislature has been stockpiling hundreds of millions of dollars meant for Texas’ parks in order to artificially balance the budget. House Bill 158 scales that down. 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. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Graphic by Todd Wiseman / Ben Hasson

Texas to Crack Down on Synthetic Marijuana

Starting Sept. 1, a new law will ban 1,000 possible chemical compounds of synthetic marijuana and make it a lot harder for Texans to buy or sell the drug. This animation is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Budget Cuts Hit Film, Video Game Incentives

State lawmakers inflicted deep cuts on the incentive program Texas uses to lure film, television and video game productions to the state. Now, industry advocates say Texas-based productions — like the critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights — will be scarcer. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Graphic by Ben Hasson

Taking New Steps to Put an End to "Revenge Porn"

Texas has joined about two dozen states in passing a law taking aim at "revenge porn," which refers to sexually explicit images of individuals posted online without their consent. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Foster Care Youth Getting State Ombudsman

Starting Sept. 1, children in Texas foster care will get an ombudsman 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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State to Ride Herd on Failing Schools

If school district leaders can’t fix failing schools, the state may strip their authority under a new law effective Sept. 1. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Mallory Busch / Todd Wiseman

New Truancy Law Poised to Put More Pressure on Schools, Parents

When the state's new truancy law takes effect Sept. 1, students will no longer potentially face criminal sanctions for skipping school. But there are new directives for public schools and the courts. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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CSIS

New Law Helps Tackle Health Agency Woes

After being accused of corruption, inefficiency and incompetence, the state health agency's Office of Inspector General is trying to get back on track, and hopes a new law will clarify and streamline its fraud investigations. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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Gabriel Cristóver Pérez

New Law Will Help More Texans Go Solar

A loophole in state law allowed some developers to block solar installations on homes in new neighborhoods. Now it's been plugged. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

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