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Bill would require Texans to opt out of organ donation rather than opt in

By Nicole Cobler | March 1, 2017 AUSTIN — A Dallas lawmaker’s bill to automatically make organ donors out of driver license holders is meeting resistance from a surprising opponent — the nonprofit that runs Texas’ organ donor registry. Donate Life Texas has been vocal in opposing so-called “opt out” or “presumed consent” programs across … Continue reading Bill would require Texans to opt out of organ donation rather than opt in

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Senators decry secrecy pacts they signed to get voter fraud claims

By Nicole Cobler | Feb. 9, 2017 AUSTIN - Two Texas senators are promising to fight confidential agreements they signed before being allowed to view voter fraud complaints reported to the secretary of state's office. Their plan to make the information public follows newly nominated Secretary of State Rolando Pablos' declaration in a Senate committee … Continue reading Senators decry secrecy pacts they signed to get voter fraud claims

Lawmaker wants to position Texas to outlaw abortion with ‘trigger law’

By Nicole Cobler | Feb. 3 2017 AUSTIN - State Sen. Bob Hall is playing the long game on abortion. To date, more than two dozen bills relating to abortion have been filed in the Texas Legislature, most aimed at restricting the controversial procedure. Hall, however, has gone a step further and authored a bill … Continue reading Lawmaker wants to position Texas to outlaw abortion with ‘trigger law’

Judge blocks state from ousting Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

AUSTIN — A federal judge on Thursday issued a temporary injunction, blocking the state from ousting Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program for at least a month. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks’ ruling followed a three-day hearing in which lawyers for the state argued that removing the nonprofit from Texas’ Medicaid program would have little … Continue reading Judge blocks state from ousting Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

For fifth time, lawmakers to decide ban on texting while driving

By Nicole Cobler | Nov. 25, 2016 James Shaffer used to be guilty of looking down at his phone while driving. He thinks about that now, just months after a distracted driver unlocked her phone and swerved into oncoming traffic, killing his wife and 12-year-old daughter. "It's just that you become more aware of it when it … Continue reading For fifth time, lawmakers to decide ban on texting while driving

Texas county where Sandra Bland died may elect first black sheriff

By Nicole Cobler and Neena Satija | Nov. 9, 2016 PRAIRIE VIEW — More than a year after Sandra Bland’s death put this little Texas town in the national spotlight, Democrats here hope to put it back there by electing the area's first black sheriff. It won’t be easy. Waller County, a mostly rural county just west … Continue reading Texas county where Sandra Bland died may elect first black sheriff

Democrats hope Trump effect aids long-shot bids for Texas Supreme Court

By Nicole Cobler | Oct. 20, 2016 Three Republican members of the Texas Supreme Court running for re-election are facing Democratic challengers who say they may have a chance in the solid-red state with Donald Trump at the top of the ballot. Democrats point to recent polls that show Trump beating Hillary Clinton by just four points in Texas to … Continue reading Democrats hope Trump effect aids long-shot bids for Texas Supreme Court

Texas Workers Comp System Questioned After Oklahoma Ruling

By Nicole Cobler | Sept. 20, 2016 In the wake of an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision striking down part of that state's workers' compensation law, Texas is now the only state that lets private companies opt out of a state-run system and draw up their own plans to compensate injured workers. Before the ruling, Oklahoma had been the only … Continue reading Texas Workers Comp System Questioned After Oklahoma Ruling

African-American Monument Being Installed at Texas Capitol

by Nicole Cobler | Sept. 27, 2016 After more than two decades of effort by lawmakers to install a monument at the Capitol celebrating African-Americans, the main components of a bronze and granite memorial were quietly lowered onto the south lawn on Tuesday. Denver-based sculptor Ed Dwight proposed the Texas African-American History Memorial to celebrate … Continue reading African-American Monument Being Installed at Texas Capitol

Lawmaker Pledges Bill to Protect Texas Fantasy Sports Betting

by Nicole Cobler | Sept. 8, 2016 A state lawmaker says he'll file legislation to make sure Texans can play fantasy sports online without repercussions — following an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton that equates placing bets on gaming websites to illegal gambling. Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, has drafted a bill for the upcoming legislative session … Continue reading Lawmaker Pledges Bill to Protect Texas Fantasy Sports Betting