State & Region
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Senate backs bill that would roll back cellphone safety laws in dozens of Texas cities

The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave tentative approval to a measure that pre-empts local ordinances on drivers’ mobile phone usage, effectively rolling back safety laws in the 45 Texas cities where … more

Texas Senate passes bill to allow people to vote on whether a city can annex them

No filibuster was going to kill annexation reform in the Texas Senate this time around. The Senate on Wednesday tentatively passed Senate Bill 6, which would allow residents of areas up for … more

State creates mental health task force for Harvey-affected schools

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Oct. 11 announced the establishment of the Hurricane Harvey Task Force on School Mental Health Supports to deliver needed attention to schools and higher education institutions impacted by the storm.

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Texas Rangers to investigate famed Karolyi Ranch in wake of Nassar trial

Nearly a week after prominent USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to prison for the sexual assault of several female gymnasts, Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate … more

At University of Texas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calls for modernizing NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement is an important accord for the region — but it's also due for an update, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday during a speech at the … more

Health agency leader: "We welcome" audits into contracting issues

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission won’t fight an auditor coming through their doors — in fact, they welcome it. That’s what Charles Smith, executive commissioner … more

After lawsuit, Texas plans to install air conditioning in a stifling prison

The state of Texas plans to install air conditioning in a notoriously hot prison after reaching a settlement with inmates in a federal class action lawsuit, an attorney for the inmates said … more

After land office inks Harvey contract, Land Commissioner George P. Bush gets donations from contractor

The government’s seemingly sluggish response to Hurricane Harvey has been a headache for Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office plays a major role in getting Texans back into damaged … more

Flood-related suffering, relief efforts grow in Harvey’s wake

AUSTIN — Emergency relief operations expanded and intensified last week as floodwaters caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey-generated rains inundated and overwhelmed Harris County and … more

White House to withdraw controversial nominee to head Council on Environmental Quality

The White House plans to withdraw its controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, according to two administration officials briefed on the matter … more

Federal judge grants Texas request to block Obama-era restrictions on criminal background checks in hiring

The federal government can't enforce in Texas a rule limiting the use of criminal background checks in hiring, a federal judge in Lubbock ruled Thursday. As part of a years-long legal quest to … more

Despite sunny economy, Texas budget forecast is dreary

The Texas economy is growing healthily, but that doesn’t mean state budget writers will have more money at their disposal next year, state officials said Tuesday … more

Governor applauds lawmakers’ intentions for special session

Gov. Greg Abbott, in the last 10 days of June, posted news releases pointing out specific lawmakers and their plans to file bills that fulfill his expectations for the 30-day special session, which he called to begin July 18. more

Texas denied thousands of students special ed services. Does the policy go back to George W. Bush's presidency?

In the wake of a scathing federal report last month blasting Texas for excluding thousands of students from special education, a wave of accusations has rolled through the state's education … more

Disabled Texans say bathroom bill could further complicate their lives

For Octavio Armendariz, using the bathroom while he’s home is no big deal. When the autistic eight-year-old is out in public with his mom, it’s a different story … more

How a federal proposal could affect millions of dollars in Texas workers' tips

A U.S. Department of Labor proposal that could change how workers in Texas and the rest of the nation receive tips is facing greater scrutiny after a report revealed the department withheld an … more

Despite Texans' support, effort to repeal health care law narrowly defeated in U.S. Senate

The efforts of U.S. Senate Republicans to repeal former President Obama's 2010 health care law collapsed early Friday morning, thanks to a shocking defection from U.S. Sen. John McCain … more

In Austin, Sessions touts Trump's hardline stance on immigration

During a visit to Austin on Friday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a harsh rebuke of what he called the “open borders” lobby, praised the Texas Legislature for passing a controversial immigration enforcement measure and doubled down on some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial proposals, including the construction of a wall of the country’s border.

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Lawmakers plan to file teacher pay legislation in special session

A special session of the Texas Legislature, called by Gov. Greg Abbott, is set to begin on July 18. The agenda is big. more

Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders for special session

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers. more
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