State News

Texas Energy
3:53 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

First wind, now gas: tax breaks face scrutiny

Credit Lizze Chen - KUT

Susan Combs, the state comptroller, stirred controversy last month when she said Texas’ growing wind energy industry should “stand on its own two feet.”

“Billions of dollars of tax credits and property tax limitations on new generation helped grow the industry, but today they give it an unfair market advantage over other power sources,” said Combs, a Republican, upon the release of a study meant to illustrate how energy policy affects Texans’ wallets.

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Texas Government
9:35 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Judges: Texas should use voter ID in current election

A judge has ruled that Texas should keep it's Voter ID Law for the upcoming election.
Credit NPR

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Texas should require photo voter identification in this year’s general election, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, overturning an earlier ruling by a federal district judge in Texas.

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Texas Health
9:32 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Supreme Court puts Texas abortion provision on hold

A provision of the Texas abortion law that closed all but eight abortion facilities in the state almost two weeks ago was temporarily put on hold Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Texas Health
9:28 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Second worker at Dallas hospital tests positive for Ebola

A second nurse, who had been in contact with patient Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for Ebola.
Credit Courtesy Photo

A second health care worker at the Dallas hospital that treated the man who died of Ebola has tested positive for the virus, state officials said early Wednesday. 

The worker had provided care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Duncan died Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

"The health care worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital," the health department said on its website. 

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Texas Government
3:32 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

When firms missed job goals, Perry relaxed rules

Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Credit NPR

Since 2003, Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas Enterprise Fund has given out more than $500 million to private firms in exchange for a promise to create jobs in Texas.

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Texas Health
3:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Ebola response puts Jenkins in spotlight, again

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins discussed the combined city, county and federal efforts required in dealing with the Ebola investigation.
Credit Bill Zeeble - KERA News

In the days before Sept. 30, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was in full re-election mode, seeking campaign money ahead of a fundraising deadline as he works to keep his post as the highest elected official in the county’s government.

Then, the first U.S. case of the deadly Ebola virus was confirmed at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

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Texas Health
3:53 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Feds withholding $75 million over hospital funding question

Credit kut.org

The federal agency that oversees Medicaid is reviewing arrangements between private Texas hospitals and local government entities to ensure they did not violate a rule that allowed the state to draw down federal dollars to cover health care for the uninsured.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is withholding $75 million that the state used to reimburse private hospitals for care they provided to poor patients without a means to pay.

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Texas Government
3:51 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

TABC drops plan to allow alcohol sales with gun sales

A customer checks out a shotgun at a store in College Station, Texas.
Credit AP

Following unexpected opposition from gun rights organizations, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission this week dropped a proposed rule change that would have allowed alcohol sales at the same venues where guns are sold, indicating it would leave such such decision-making to the Legislature instead.

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Texas Politics
3:56 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Analysis: Contenders' dreams of political buzzer shots

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards in 1992.

Before every election, trailing candidates often start talking about winning campaigns of the past — from Abraham Lincoln to Ann Richards — that were running behind at this point and surged to victory. The candidates in front have the opposite view: Those turnarounds are nightmare material.

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Texas Agriculture
3:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Staples to head Oil and Gas Association

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is leaving his office early to head the Texas Oil and Gas Association.
Credit State Impact Texas

Updated Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m.:

The Texas Oil and Gas Association has named Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples its next president.

"It will be my honor and privilege to work with this dynamic industry at a time when Texas energy production is anchoring our state's economy and bolstering our nation's energy security," Staples said in a statement.

Staples will be leaving office early — within the next two months — to take on the new position. His tenure was supposed to wrap up by January.

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Texas Education
3:57 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

A&M system launches think tank with eye on state policy

The Texas A&M University system plans to use the think tank to work on solutions for some long-range problems that Texas faces.
Credit KUT

Earlier this month, the Texas A&M University System's board of regents approved the establishment of the cryptically named Area 41 Institute.

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Texas Politics
4:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Perry touts legacy to toll road group

Governor Perry was the keynote speaker at the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike annual conference.
Credit KUT

Calling Texas “the mecca of innovation on transportation infrastructure,” Gov. Rick Perry touted the state’s approach to expanding roads without raising taxes in Tuesday morning remarks to the toll road industry.

Perry was the keynote speaker at the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) annual conference, held this year in Austin.

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Texas Agriculture
3:48 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Farmers ask officials to stop rail yard

Railroad tracks into Mumford, a city northwest of College Station.
Credit State Impact Texas

Rows of cotton that have been picked by the same family for generations sit in the shadow of a railroad track in Mumford, a small farming community about 22 miles northeast of College Station in the Brazos River Valley. The cotton is starting to bloom and Frank DeStefano, who farms the land along with three brothers, said it will be a beautiful sight in a few weeks.

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Texas Politics
3:36 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Davis agrees to new Sept. 30 debate with Abbott

Credit KERA

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

There will be a late September debate after all between gubernatorial hopefuls Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis.

Davis' campaign announced Wednesday that it had agreed to a Sept. 30 debate in Dallas with Abbott, an event that will be sponsored by KERA, NBC5/KXAS-TV, Telemundo 39 and The Dallas Morning News.

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Texas Infrastructure
4:04 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

ERCOT: Grid should meet upcoming electricity demands

ERCOT Control Center
Credit KUT

Texas should have more than enough electricity to keep its lights on this fall and winter, the operator of the grid covering most of the state says.

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