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texas

David Martin Davies

Since July the price of oil has dropped 50% and that is having a negative impact on the Texas Economy.  Texans are far likelier than most Americans to work in extraction of oil and gas, mining support activities, pipeline transportation, and petroleum refining.

  So job growth in the state is stalling. Texas is now 4th in the nation for creation of jobs – that’s according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. California is number one.

AUSTIN — When Texas officials launched a massive public high school steroids testing program over fears of rampant doping from the football fields to the tennis courts, they promised a model program for the rest of the country to follow.

But almost no one did. And after spending $10 million testing more than 63,000 students to catch just a handful of cheaters, Texas lawmakers appear likely to defund the program this summer. If they do, New Jersey and Illinois will have the only statewide high school steroids testing programs left.

Ryan E. Poppe

LINCOLN, N.H. — Ahead of his expected presidential campaign, Sen. Ted Cruz is banking on his hopes that rural New Hampshire voters and his home state of Texas share a similarly dour view of government.

He is promising to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and scrap the Education Department. He vows to curtail federal regulators, likening to locusts that deserve to be killed. And his standard campaign-style speech includes a zinger about the Second Amendment.

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

The last time a new Texas governor was sworn in, 9/11 hadn’t happened. We hadn’t been swept into the War on Terror. Fort Hood was just a military base, not a symbol. Ike was a casual reference to a popular former President, not a marauding tropical cyclone.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

ODESSA, Texas — Eight inmates and two corrections officers died Wednesday when a prison bus skidded off an icy West Texas highway, slid down an embankment and collided with a passing freight train, authorities said.

The overpass on Interstate 20 was slick with ice Wednesday morning when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice bus left the roadway in Penwell, just west of Odessa, according to Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson.

An earlier accident on the I-20 overpass may have contributed to the prison bus losing control, Donaldson said.

Texas Ag Commission

Since the start of the New Year, Texas has seen the pomp and ceremony of swearing in multiple statewide political offices--all of them Republicans. So far, these have been the warm-up acts leading to the swearing in of the Lt. Governor and Governor.  Governor-elect and Lieutenant Governor-elect Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick will be inaugurated into office on Jan. 19.

The new Land Commissioner George P. Bush kicked things off, taking his oath of office on Jan 2.

"Hitchhacking" via Flickr

Economists don’t seem to agree on whether the plummeting price of oil could cause a recession in Texas next year.

The price per barrel has dropped to $55, about half of where it was during the first part of 2014.

Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan Chase, recently told clients that Texas is “at risk of slipping into a regional recession” because of the decline in oil prices. 

However, Economist Michael Plante with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, doesn’t think a recession is on the horizon.

United States Department of Labor

During his last State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed raising the national minimum wage to nine dollars an hour and permanently indexing it to the cost of living.

Supporters say it's a way to redistribute income from thriving corporations to workers. Others say it’s a surefire way to kill jobs.

With the most minimum wage workers in the union, Texas would be the state most impacted if the wage increase becomes law.

Mose Buchele

As Oil Revenue Rises, Cost Of Living Follows

Texas School Safety Center

Texas Matters: After reviewing school district safety audits, the attorney general's office found that 78 Texas school districts were not compliant with the law. The Newtown tragedy is also having an effect in San Antonio school districts, where two students who were making jokes about bomb threats and shootings on their own campuses were arrested. Texas Monthly crowns its 2012 Bum Steer of the Year: Lance Armstrong.

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