After historic drought, lawmakers agree on billion-dollar plan to expand water supplies, fix infrastructure
Following one of the hottest summers on record, lawmakers have set an ambitious target: By 2033, they want to bump up the state’s water supply by an amount equal to three of the largest reservoirs in the state.
House advances bill that could provide billions of dollars for new water projects and fixing aging infrastructure
The bill aims to create a water supply four times the size of Lake Livingston, one of the state’s largest reservoirs. But it may still be a “drop in the bucket” compared to the state’s needs.
Lawmakers’ attempts to tighten drug laws would saddle crime labs with an unsustainable workload
Texas lawmakers want tougher criminal penalties for possession of delta-8 and fentanyl. But that would mean much more work for the crime labs handling most of the drug testing for the state’s 254 counties.
Texas Senate approves bill barring professors from “compelling” students to adopt certain political beliefs
Critics say Senate Bill 16 is overly vague and will create a chilling effect that will prevent important conversations about race and gender. But Republican supporters say the legislation is necessary to protect conservative students who are self-censoring in the classroom.
Texas senators, facing criticism, soften proposed ban on Chinese purchases of land
The measure, endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott, originally would have banned citizens of China, Iran, Russia or North Korea from buying land in Texas. Under a new version considered Thursday, the ban wouldn’t apply to dual citizens or lawful permanent residents.
New family and child welfare commissioner foreshadows change as agency plans to outsource case management
Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Stephanie Muth told lawmakers Friday the agency will require a different set of skills from its employees as it changes how foster children’s cases are managed.
Texas’ plan to provide water for a growing population virtually ignores climate change
Texas’ biggest single solution to providing enough water for its soaring population in the coming decades is using more surface water, including about two dozen new large reservoirs. But climate change has made damming rivers a riskier bet.
What is gender-affirming medical care for transgender children? Here’s what you need to know.
Gender-affirming care, which leading health care organizations in Texas say is the best way to provide care to transgender children, is emerging as a top target of state Republicans and lies at the heart of brewing political and legal battles.
Texas GOP’s bills targeting transgender children have exacted a mental health toll, even if they don’t become law
As the clock ticks on this year's legislative session, the House scheduled a Tuesday floor debate for a bill that would limit transgender children's sports team participation. Other GOP bills that would restrict or punish transition-related health care, like puberty blockers, missed a key Sunday deadline to advance.
As Texas Legislature considers anti-trans bills, NCAA announces it will not hold events in states that discriminate against trans students
After Texas’ power grid failure, some in Lubbock worry about the city’s plans to join ERCOT
Lubbock officials initially planned to join ERCOT once its 15-year-long contract with Xcel Energy, a member of the Southwestern Public Service Company, expires. Spencer lives in Lubbock, one of the few areas of the state not connected to Texas’ independent power grid. AdThe failures of Texas’ independent power grid have led to some counties mulling a way out. Lubbock officials initially planned to join ERCOT once its 15-year-long contract with Xcel Energy, a member of the Southwestern Public Service Company, expires. Lubbock City Councilperson Jeff Griffith he still feels confident Lubbock will move forward with the plans to join ERCOT.
Toxic substance or water supply? Lawmakers to weigh whether wastewater from oil fields could replenish the state's aquifers
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, argues that the water could eventually help the state replenish its diminishing water supplies. Now, he said, “the regulatory environment is set up to have the produced water conversation.”But reusing produced water is far from financially viable today, industry analysts said. And it’s usually cheaper for companies to buy fresh water for hydraulic fracturing than to treat produced water for that purpose. Environmental groups and some scientists warn against releasing the produced water, even after treatment, into Texas streams and rivers. “We don’t have standards for produced water — we’ve never had to deal with it,” said Scanlon, the UT hydrogeologist.
Ector County GOP censures Abbott over executive power amid coronavirus, state Sen. Charles Perry calls for special session
Greg Abbott, accusing him of overstepping his authority in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, while state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, called for a special session so lawmakers could have a say in how Texas proceeds amid soaring caseloads. The party executive committee in Ector County, home to Odessa, passed the censure resolution 10-1, with one abstention and three voting members who were not present, according to the chairperson, Tisha Crow. "This is why I urge Governor Abbott to convene a special session to allow the legislature to pass legislation and hold hearings regarding the COVID-19 response," Perry said. In the upper chamber, state Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, has also called for a special session, as have several House Republicans. Abbott has not explicitly ruled out a special session before the Legislature meets again in January.