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Number of foster kids without placements in Texas doubles

April 17, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — The number of Texas foster children staying in agency offices or alternate sites due to lack of placement more than doubled from February to March, according to a new report.

The Texas Department of Family Protective Services said Friday that 65 foster children slept at least two consecutive nights in a state office, motel or shelter last month, up from 29 the month before.…

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TT Analysis: The taxes Texas school districts are afraid to cut

April 17, 2017

It’s hard to tell the tax hawks from the tax doves sometimes. A legislative proposal meant to make it easier for school districts to grant temporary tax rate cuts was derailed this week by opponents who say it would also allow districts to raise taxes without voter approval.
It would do both things — and either of them would probably make property taxpayers happy.…

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Texas getting first immigrant center built under Trump

April 14, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — A private prison company announced Thursday it has won a $110-million federal contract to build in Texas the first new immigrant detention center under the Trump administration.

The GEO Group said that its 1,000-bed detention facility will be in Conroe, north of Houston, and will open by the end of next year.…

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Insurers say Trump must do more to stabilize ‘Obamacare’

April 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Obamacare” is proving more of a challenge than the Trump administration bargained for.

With the “repeal and replace” effort at an impasse on Capitol Hill, the administration released on Thursday a set of fixes to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s shaky insurance markets for next year. But the insurance industry quickly said the changes don’t go far enough.…

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Texas Capital Highlights — April 12, 2017

April 13, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — A tough Texas anti-“sanctuary cities” bill that threatens to throw county sheriffs and small-town constables in jail if they refuse to help enforce federal immigration law looks to be on the fast-track toward passage in the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.

The proposal cleared a House committee 7-5 without debate Wednesday, setting up a floor vote soon.…

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Texas attorney general’s criminal trial moved to September

April 13, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s new trial date on criminal securities fraud charges is set for September.

The Wednesday announcement comes after state District Judge George Gallagher this week moved the trial out of the conservative Dallas suburbs where Paxton lives. Jury selection is now scheduled to begin Sept.…

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Trump declares US-Russia relations may be at ‘all-time low’

April 13, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Laying bare deep and dangerous divisions on Syria and other issues, President Donald Trump declared that U.S. relations with Russia “may be at an all-time low.” His top diplomat offered a similarly grim assessment from the other side of the globe after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.…

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Bill legalizing daily fantasy sports in Texas heads to House

April 12, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — A bill exempting paid online fantasy sports sites from Texas anti-gambling laws is headed to the full Texas House.

Last year, state Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding opinion that paid online daily fantasy sports constituted gambling by offering chances to win money based on the performance of teams selected online.…

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Hallum to Resign Gaines Constable’s Post, Take Position with GCSO

April 7, 2017

Gaines County’s lone constable is anticipated to step down in the coming weeks to take a ranked position with the Gaines County Sheriff’s Office, according to confirmations from sources on Friday.

Chad Hallum, Pct. 1 Constable for Gaines County, confirmed with the Seminole Sentinel he would be submitting his letter of resignation to members of the Gaines County Commissioners Court for their consideration in the group’s upcoming regular meeting on Monday.…

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Texas House passes budget after more than 15-hour debate

April 7, 2017

AUSTIN — After 15 and a half hours of debate on hundreds of amendments to the Texas House budget, lawmakers in the lower chamber passed the two-year, $218 billion document, with 131 votes in favor and 16 votes against.

The House vote included using $2.5 billion from the state’s savings account, colloquially known as the Rainy Day Fund.…

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