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The Texas Tribune is nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that is a reporting partner of KUT.

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Texas Rail Prospects Tempt French, Chinese, Japanese

Nov 11, 2015

Despite its car-is-king reputation, Texas has emerged as a hot market for international rail firms betting the state is ripe for a boom in high-speed rail projects.

Despite a recent loss in Houston over the city's embattled anti-discrimination ordinance, gay rights activists across the state can still claim successes in enacting protections elsewhere. There are now 10 Texas cities with populations of more than 100,000 that have some rules or legislation in place to protect residents or city employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ana Belén Ramó / The Texas Tribune

Here are the legal powers of a Texas governor: Veto, appointment and persuasion.

The first and second are pretty clear. The governor can veto legislation he or she doesn’t like, and the Legislature can override that veto with a supermajority. Governors appoint the members of boards and commissions that oversee the state’s executive branch agencies, with the Senate riding shotgun to approve or disapprove of those appointees.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Dr. John Hellerstedt will be the next commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, state officials announced Monday.

Hellerstedt is the current chief medical officer of the Seton Family of Hospitals in Central Texas. He is a former medical director for the Medicaid CHIP Division at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, according to his online bio.

In Texas, Minorities Less Likely To Own Homes

Nov 9, 2015

While minorities occupy about half of the state’s housing units, they are less likely than white Texans to own their homes, and the state’s largest metro areas have some of the most substantial racial disparities among homeowners, according to recently released U.S. Census data.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

  • Nov. 8, 2015

In his first State of the State address to the Texas Legislature in early 2015, newly elected Gov. Greg Abbott challenged lawmakers to dedicate their unfolding 140-day session to ethics reform, asserting that “the most important commodity that we have as elected officials is the bond that we share with our constituents.”

File Photo | Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The University of Texas System plans to build a new campus on 300 acres in the southwestern part of Houston, an initiative its leaders say will drastically expand the system's presence in the state's biggest city.

It's not yet clear whether the land will be used for a branch campus for a particular school or as a hub for all the UT System's 14 academic and health institutions, but the land won't likely be for a new university. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

*Correction appended

After discovering that a Houston psychologist was vouching for the mental health of future police officers without meeting them face-to-face, the state's law enforcement licensing agency is revamping its entire system of screening police, jailers and dispatchers to prevent those with apparent mental issues from joining any Texas police force.

A Simple Election Day, Mostly Yes or No Answers

Nov 3, 2015
Shelby Knowles / The Texas Tribune

Voting on constitutional amendments may not carry the same cachet as elections featuring living candidates, but Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos hopes Texans will head to the polls for Election Day nonetheless.

*Correction appended.

“There’s not a lot of romance in ‘em,” Cascos said. “These amendments aren’t debating each other, they aren’t calling each other out. But I think they’re very, very important — they’re changing and adding to framework of the Texas constitution.”

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