State News

Texas Healthcare
4:03 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Site to inform low-income women about health services

Credit NPR

Low-income Texas women seeking services like breast and cervical cancer screenings and mental health treatment now have a reliable place to learn about the steps they need to take, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek said Wednesday as he unveiled a new state website.

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Texas Healthcare
3:54 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Feds have new leverage in Medicaid showdown

Credit NPR

If Texas wants to keep receiving billions of federal dollars to help hospitals care for uninsured patients, state lawmakers may have to look again at expanding Medicaid coverage for impoverished adults, some political observers say.

That's because in 2016, Texas will have to ask the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to renew a five-year waiver to pump $29 billion into state health care coffers.

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Texas Government
2:59 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Should city voters pick the Ag Commissioner?

For more than a century, Texans have elected their agriculture commissioner, unlike more than two-thirds of states where governors fill the job by appointment.

But as Texas' urban population inches toward 90 percent, should they? Or is there danger that the obscure statewide position, often seen as a stepping-stone to higher office, could get tied up in political campaigns about guns and God instead of soybeans and sows?

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Texas Politics
4:04 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

What went wrong with Battleground Texas?

Credit NPR

Battleground Texas launched in January 2013 with the goal of turning reliably red Texas into — at minimum — a purple state where Democrats could compete. But nearly two years later, on the day after the 2014 general election, Texas looks redder than ever.

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Texas Politics
3:50 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

All eyes on Land Office if George P. Bush wins

George P. Bush is the son of Jeb Bush, which makes him grandson to former President George H.W. Bush and nephew to former President George W. Bush.
Credit NPR

For his first step in what many expect to be a long political climb, Republican George P. Bush is pursuing an office that will require him to look out for Texas schoolchildren by extracting money from the very industries --- oil and gas -- that have fueled his family's wealth and political fortunes.

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Texas Politics
4:10 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

In TV airtime, a candidate looks invincible

Greg Abbott is the current Texas State Attorney General.
Credit NPR

It would take more than 10 days to watch all the ad spots on broadcast television that the campaign of Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for Texas governor, has bought from July to Election Day.

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Texas Government
4:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

No Halloween hearing for Perry

Governor Perry's scheduled hearing has been moved to November 6th.
Credit NPR

Gov. Rick Perry won't be making a Halloween court appearance after all.

The Oct. 31 hearing that had been scheduled in Perry's criminal case has been rescheduled for Nov. 6 at 10 a.m., a court employee confirmed.

Perry will be attending the hearing because his legal team is raising an evidentiary issue and visiting Judge Bert Richardson has ruled that requires the governor's presence.

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Texas Government
4:24 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Former Dewhurst aide pleads guilty to embezzlement

David Dewhurst at the state GOP convention in June 2012.
Credit Ben Philpott - KUT

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's former adviser Kenneth "Buddy" Barfield pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of wire fraud, making a false tax return and embezzlement of funds contributed to a federal candidate.

Barfield's plea agreement, which was submitted in federal court to U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane, stated that he took $1.8 million from the David Dewhurst Committee and the Dewhurst for Texas campaign funds from 2008 to 2012.

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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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