Texas Tribune

Texas long-term care facilities — even those with active COVID-19 cases — can allow visitors beginning Sept. 24, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday.

Eligible facilities include nursing homes and intermediate care centers that serve residents without COVID-19, but that also have an isolation wing reserved for those who test positive for the virus. Visitation will also be allowed at state supported living centers, which house residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


State health officials walked back a plan to cut $15 million in funding from health and safety net programs, including services that offer low-income Texans access to birth control and cancer screenings, and support families of young children with disabilities or developmental delays.

The Texas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval this week to a sex education policy that includes teaching middle schoolers about birth control beyond abstinence — its first attempt to revise that policy since 1997.

Texas primary care doctors say they’re hemorrhaging cash and at risk of closing their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, and a new trade group proposal argues it’s time for Texas lawmakers to overhaul how physicians’ practices get paid.

More patients are forgoing office visits as they stay home to avoid the virus, and doctors’ offices report that their revenues have fallen sharply as a result. Many large health insurance companies have posted huge profits during the same period.


A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Texas can keep its strict eligibility rules for voting by mail.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday named U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.


As Texas prepares for an expected deluge of mail-in votes in November, a federal judge has found that one facet of the state’s signature verification rules for those ballots is unconstitutional and must be reworked for the upcoming election.


As Texas college towns see rising COVID-19 cases with the return of hundreds of thousands of students to campus, a small but increasing number of universities are disciplining students who attend or host house parties or Greek rush events.

On a normal first day of school, Texas children would wake up early to cram into school buses, eager to huddle and chat with their friends in the hallways before streaming toward their classrooms.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

Standing in front of a blue curtain adorned with the seal of the Republican Party of Texas, Allen West offered up what he deemed an “instructional video” for Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

A federal judge on Saturday ordered the U.S. Census Bureau to halt its plans to wind down operations a month early.


Gov. Greg Abbott is considering a legislative proposal that, if passed, would put the control of the Austin Police Department under state authority.

Shortly after Allen West took over as the Texas GOP chair last month, he gave the party a new slogan — "We are the storm" — and plastered it everywhere: fundraising emails, social media accounts, even on T-shirts and hats for sale.

From Texas Standard:

Reviews for Joe Biden's speech accepting his party's presidential nomination on closing night of the Democratic National Convention were generally positive – even from Republicans, like Karl Rove. Democrats, perhaps more predictably, praised the speech. 

That includes the chair of the Texas Democratic Party, Gilberto Hinojosa. He told Texas Standard that Biden's speech came from the heart, and provided a contrast between Biden and President Donald Trump.

"I think it was a speech that told America what he was all about, and what he stood for, and why he believed it was important that we unite together to save our democracy," Hinojosa said. 

On Thursday. Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas will apply for federal funding to provide an extra $300 every week for people who have lost their jobs. More than 10 states have already been federally approved for the additional jobless relief, providing an extra $300, and in some cases, $400 in unemployment checks.

In response to Texas’ recently plummeting coronavirus testing numbers and heightened rate of people testing positive, Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that state health officials were “investigating” the trend and working to increase the number of Texans being tested for coronavirus.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

While debate about how to safely reopen public schools in Texas raged through the summer, Kim Olstrup was preparing to bring students back to her Midcities Montessori private school in Bedford. She bought an electrostatic disinfection device similar to one used on airplanes and halved enrollment from about 130 students to about 60 to accommodate social distancing in her classrooms.

On the door for the McLennan County Republican Party headquarters on a February night, a flyer read, "Black Voices for Trump." Inside, 50 or so faces — virtually all of them white — looked up at the speaker before them.


Five of the Texas Legislature’s most conservative members are suing Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials, claiming Texas leaders overstepped their bounds when they awarded a major contract for tracking Texas’ coronavirus outbreak to a little-known technology firm.

For months, as Texans have been asked to stay home to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus, Jennifer Edwards has been doing the rounds at gas stations in a trio of counties near the Texas-Louisiana border.

Volunteering as a census community organizer, the Tarleton State University professor reasoned that gas stations, like grocery stores, would continue to see foot traffic during the pandemic. 

In a statement Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said local health authorities can shut down schools if there’s evidence of an outbreak after students have already returned to campus — but cannot shut them down weeks before schools open.

His statement backs a legal opinion released by the Texas attorney general issued on Tuesday.

In a rare moment in the Trump era, several Texas Republicans pushed back against President Donald Trump on Thursday when he floated in a tweet the idea of delaying the presidential election in November. The president does not have the legal authority to move Election Day; that power resides with Congress.

Local health officials do not have the authority to shut down all schools in their vicinity while COVID-19 cases rise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in nonbinding guidance Tuesday that contradicts what the Texas Education Agency has told school officials.

With reported coronavirus cases in Texas child care facilities rising quickly, parents face terrifying uncertainty as they try to decide whether to entrust their children to child care centers.


Masks for students and teachers will be mandatory in counties with more than 20 reported COVID-19 cases when public schools resume in-person classes this fall, under new public health guidelines released by Texas state education officials Tuesday.

Sarah Ramos has spent her summer anxiously awaiting a fall return to Texas A&M’s campus at College Station. She is hoping for some normalcy after she and her classmates were abruptly forced off campus last semester and into Zoom-based classes for the remainder of the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 46,000 Texans who lost their jobs in recent months are having portions of their unemployment benefits clawed back after the Texas Workforce Commission found that they were initially overpaid.

President Donald Trump would beat former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas by 4 percentage points if the election were held today, according to a new poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Politics Project.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a nearly statewide mask mandate Thursday as Texas scrambles to get its coronavirus surge under control.

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