State government

Caleb Bryant Miller

Slipping Through the Cracks

What's in an IQ score? For autistic or profoundly mentally ill Texans: everything. A growing number of disabled young adults are considered too high-functioning for state care services, but their families say they’re too dangerous to go without them. Admission to state-supported living centers is limited to disabled people with IQs under 70 — and community-based care is generally capped at an IQ of 75.

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Fort Stockton vs. Claytie

A West Texas town is challenging an oil tycoon and former GOP gubernatorial nominee over the depletion of its municipal water source. Whether David defeats Goliath is up to an 11-member groundwater conservation district.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Net Neutrality Neutralized

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell on why people who use more bandwith should pay more, what he thinks of the recent court decision preventing restrictions on "information service" providers, and more.

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Bob Daemmrich

Rick Perry: The TT Interview

A Newsweek/Texas Tribune exclusive: The governor talks about the Tea Party, his beef with the federal government, health care reform, the state budget, redistricting, and whether he plans to run for the White House himself.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the fall of Norma Chávez; M. Smith and Ramsey on the runoffs, the results, and the aftermath; Hu on the Tea Party's birthday party; Thevenot and Stiles on the path between schools and prisons; Ramshaw on prosecutors' reaction to helping hands from Austin; Hamilton on self-appointed lawyers; Galbraith on property rights and power lines; Aguilar and Grissom sit down with the mayor of Juárez to talk about his crime-ridden city; Kraft on telling the stories of Texans and other Americans who died in Vietnam; Ramsey on slots and horses and casinos; and Hamilton goes on a field trip with Jim Hightower to hear the history of populism. The best of our best from April 5 to 9, 2010.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

TribBlog: Jim Hightower Tells a Story

He may be able to address complex issues in his two-minute radio broadcasts, but some of Jim Hightower's distinctive storytelling begs for more time.

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Bob Daemmerich

TribBlog: New GOP Group "a Little Undemocratic"?

Karen Hughes, a communications advisor to Speaker Joe Straus, told our TribLive audience this morning that it was "a little undemocratic" of the newly formed Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas not to invite every Republican in the House and Senate to join.

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Thanks, But No Thanks

Depending on whom you ask, Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins’ repeated refusal to allow Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott into a local corruption investigation is either bold or stupid. Either way, it’s unusual. Abbott has offered prosecution assistance to local district attorneys 226 times since 2007, when lawmakers first gave him permission to do it. In all but 16 cases, he’s been invited in. And Watkins didn't decline politely.

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Graphic by Jacob Villanueva

"The School-to-Prison Pipeline"

A new report by Texas Appleseed spotlights two troubling trends: the high number and proportion of discretionary expulsions by school districts, often for low-level "persistent misbehavior," and the disproportionate severity of discipline meted out to African-Americans.

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Night of the Insurgents

Voters routed state Reps. Delwin Jones and Norma Chavez on Tuesday, turned back former Rep. Rick Green's bid for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court and handed victories to at least three candidates who appeared to benefit from the Tea Party insurgency in Texas.

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Ross Ramsey

2010: Insurgents Take Lubbock

Charles Perry is on his way to the Texas House, having defeated Rep. Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock, and fellow Republican John Frullo won the GOP nomination for an open seat in his predominantly Republican district. Perry has no opposition in November. Frullo will face Democrat Carol Morgan.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Runoff Day: A Spectator's Guide

Today’s elections in 18 Texas primary races, all but two involving Republicans, probably won't change the overall temperature of the statehouse or our delegation to Congress. The partisan makeup of those places isn't at stake until November. But for three House incumbents and challengers in two other races — for the State Board of Education and the Texas Supreme Court — how the vote turns out is a big deal.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Wind in the Wires

Many Texans like wind power. Few want electric transmission lines running through their ranches. Herein lies the problem.

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What are the Odds?

Start with a shortfall and a Legislature that doesn't want to raise taxes, then dangle budget-balancing money from "volunteers" — a.k.a., gamblers. With that strategy, promoters think they've got their best shot in years to legalize slot machines while adding $1 billion a year to state revenues.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on her two hours in Juárez, Grissom, Ramshaw and Ramsey on four of the runoffs on Tuesday's ballot, Ramshaw on the religious experience that is voting for Dallas County's DA and an energy regulator's play for a job at the entity he regulates, Mulvaney on the Texas Senate's biggest spenders, Aguilar on whether — as U.S. officials claim — 90 percent of guns used in Mexican crimes really flow south from Texas, M. Smith on the continuing Texas Forensic Science Commission follies, Stiles on how inmates spend their money behind bars and how counties are responding at Census time, Hamilton on the creative accounting and semantic trickery that allows lawmakers to raise revenue without hiking taxes when there's a budget shortfall, and Hu on Austin's first-in-the-nation car-sharing program. The best of our best from April 5 to 9, 2010.

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