State News

Texas Education
12:40 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

A&M-Commerce, South Texas College announce $10K degrees

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Since Gov. Rick Perry issued his famous — some skeptics might say infamous — call in 2011 for Texas universities to develop $10,000 bachelor’s degrees with textbooks included, he has proudly noted the announcements of more than a dozen degrees purporting to meet that challenge. 

But only one degree on that list takes into account the cost of textbooks and, rather than simply tweaking the price tag on existing offerings, derives its savings from a fundamental reconsideration of the way students experience higher education — and it only just launched. 

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Texas Politics
8:00 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Women underrepresented in Texas Legislature

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (pictured with Greg Abbott), whose district includes southern Collin County, is the only woman representing a portion of the KETR service area in the Texas Legislature.
KERA / keranews.org

State Sen. Wendy Davis has used her 11-hour filibuster against abortion-restricting legislation to propel a run for governor, and Texas’ hottest political race centers on whether her supporters can usher a Democratic woman into a governor’s mansion occupied by Republican men for the last two decades.

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Texas Education
7:41 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Concern about tuition increases as A&M board prepares to meet

provided image

As the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents gathers for a meeting in Galveston on Thursday, some students in College Station are concerned that the regents will increase tuition at Texas A&M University while they are miles away. 

The board's agenda calls for a consideration of — and public testimony on — proposed tuition and fee increases at the flagship university, which includes the Texas A&M University at Galveston and the Texas A&M Health Science Center. 

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Texas Health
4:37 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Local governments pursue 'Obamacare' enrollment

provided photo

To coordinate education and outreach efforts associated with the Affordable Care Act, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services is taking an approach that mirrors how the Federal Emergency Management Agency might react to a catastrophe.

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Texas Education
9:44 am
Fri January 24, 2014

In Texas, school finance battle is a perennial one

NPR

Running the public schools has been a policy issue — and a legal one too — for the better part of a century in Texas.

State officials have never found a lasting way to pay for or to provide the promised level of public education in all classrooms, and they repeatedly find themselves “solving” the problem, often under court order.

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2014 Election
3:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Davis' campaign manager answers new questions

Wendy Davis' campaign is on the defensive following a report in the Jan. 19 Dallas Morning News.
NPR

When state Sen. Wendy Davis announced her campaign for governor in early October, she had not settled on a campaign manager.  

Because Democrats haven’t won statewide office in Texas in two decades, the Fort Worth lawyer — who gained national attention after filibustering a bill on abortion regulations — wanted to get it right. So the campaign conducted a national search. About three weeks after getting into the ring, Davis announced she had selected Karin Johanson, a Washington, D.C.-based consultant known for winning uphill battles. 

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2014 Elections
3:26 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Contested races within GOP reflect broader rift

Republican Gary VanDeaver is running against incumbent George Lavender to represent Texas House District 1, which includes Franklin and Lamar Counties..
provided photo

In 2012, Steve Toth of The Woodlands won election in House District 15 after a so-called RINO hunt. He beat state Rep. Rob Eissler in the Republican primary, campaigning in part on the idea that Eissler was insufficiently conservative for HD-15’s suburban voters. Two years earlier, and several counties to the north, David Simpson of Longview beat Rep.

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Texas Health
8:34 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Texas third nationally in ACA enrollment

Enroll America outreach worker Rosy Mota (right) talks about the federal health care law with a CVS customer in Houston.
NPR

Texas enrollments in the online insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act rose nearly eightfold in December, according to 2013 figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Monday. 

Texas ranks third in the number of 2013 enrollments following the troubled launch of healthcare.gov on Oct. 1. As of Dec. 28, nearly 120,000 Texans had purchased coverage in the federal marketplace, up from 14,000 one month before.  

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Texas Health
8:21 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Pregnant woman on life support stirs political debate

Erick Munoz stands by a photo of his wife, Marlise Munoz, at home in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 3. She is being kept on life support in a local hospital against the family's wishes.
NPR

A pregnant North Texas woman being kept on life support against her family's wishes is stirring political debate in a state immersed in competitive primary races, and fresh off a legislative session in which lawmakers had tense debates over when life begins and how it can end. 

“We recognize the tragic and painful situation the family faces,” Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said in an email. “We must also remember a young life is at stake here and that state laws protecting that life must be followed.” 

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Texas Labor
8:54 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Unemployment drug-testing delayed

NPR

Texans applying for unemployment benefits will be subject to a new drug screening procedure in a program scheduled to take effect Feb. 1. But the Texas Workforce Commission said it will not be able to start the program on the state’s timetable because the United States Labor Department has not set the required parameters.

As proponents of the program raise concerns about the Labor Department’s progress, the Workforce Commission is preparing for the testing without knowing who will be tested.

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