RSSState/National

Texas Capital Highlights — March 28, 2017

March 29, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Budget woes in Texas caused by a prolonged oil slump would be patched with cuts to higher education, kicking the can down the road on growing Medicaid costs and rebuffing priorities of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott under an austere spending bill passed unanimously Tuesday by the state Senate.…

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3 Storm Chasers Killed Near Spur

March 29, 2017

SPUR (AP) — Storms that bore down on Southern Plains states brought powerful winds that upended a tractor-trailer on an Oklahoma interstate, killing the driver, while three storm chasers died in a collision as they raced toward a tornado-warned storm in West Texas, authorities said.

The storms that struck Texas and Oklahoma late Tuesday brought tornadoes, tennis ball-sized hail and powerful winds, but no widespread damage was reported.…

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Changes made to Texas standardized tests to avoid glitches

March 27, 2017

DALLAS (AP) — Revamped technical efforts and nearly $20 million in improvements should help avoid prior glitches as standardized testing begins this week, Texas Education Agency officials say.

The upgrades are meant to solve previous online problems with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR. The exams help determine whether students get promoted or graduate, The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2npEIit) reported.…

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House sets risky health care vote after Trump demands it

March 24, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a gamble with monumental political stakes, Republicans set course for a climactic House vote on their health care overhaul after President Donald Trump claimed he was finished negotiating with GOP holdouts and determined to pursue the rest of his agenda, win or lose.

House Speaker Paul Ryan set the showdown for Friday, following a nighttime Capitol meeting at which top White House officials told GOP lawmakers that Trump had decided the time for talk was over.…

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Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline

March 24, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration issued a permit Friday to build the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the conclusion of the Obama administration and clearing the way for the $8 billion project to finally be completed.

The decision caps a years-long fight between environmental groups and energy industry advocates over the pipeline’s fate that became a proxy battle over global warming.…

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Texas Capitol Highlights — March 22, 2017

March 23, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Several city officials and sheriffs around the United States said Tuesday that a Trump administration report aimed at shaming them over so-called “sanctuary” policies includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or the policies in their local jails.

The pushback was not just from liberal local governments that are at odds with President Donald Trump over immigration crackdowns and his promise to deport “bad dudes” living legally in the United States.…

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5 dead in vehicle, knife attack at British Parliament

March 23, 2017

LONDON (AP) — A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain’s seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Five people were killed, including the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a “sick and depraved terrorist attack.”

Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, just yards (meters) from entrances to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower.…

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GOP health bill on the brink hours from House showdown vote

March 23, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP’s long-promised legislation to repeal and replace “Obamacare” stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.…

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Texas Capital Highlights — March 21, 2017

March 22, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Several city officials and sheriffs around the United States said Tuesday that a Trump administration report aimed at shaming them over so-called “sanctuary” policies includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or the policies in their local jails.

The pushback was not just from liberal local governments that are at odds with President Donald Trump over immigration crackdowns and his promise to deport “bad dudes” living legally in the United States.…

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Supreme Court nominee unscathed facing last day of hearings

March 22, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch enters the third day of his confirmation hearing — and his final day of testimony — largely unscathed by Democratic attacks, as Republicans confidently predict he will win Senate approval despite liberal opposition.

A growing number of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen.…

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