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Texas Officials Warn School Districts Over ‘Illegal Electioneering’

by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – Educators and voting-rights advocates say a move by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to stop some school districts from helping students register to vote amounts to voter suppression. More than a dozen school districts have received information requests, followed by “cease and desist” letters from the state, demanding that they […]

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Sunshine Week: Group Works to Bolster TX Public Information Act

by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – It’s Sunshine Week, and Texas open government advocates are calling for greater accountability from public officials. The Texas Public Information Act, created out of reforms made in the 1970s, was once considered a model for transparency in public institutions, but over time, its ability to provide access to government information […]

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Study: Texas Needs Alternatives to Sending Women to Prison

by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – Prison reform advocates say too many of the 12,000 women in Texas prisons don’t need to be behind bars. A study by the nonpartisan Texas Criminal Justice Coalition finds that more than two-thirds of the state’s female inmates were convicted of nonviolent offenses and recommends that lawmakers develop alternative policies that emphasize […]

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Childproof Your Medicine Cabinet for Poison Prevention Week

by Mark Richardson GALVESTON, Texas – Every nine minutes in this country, a child under age six arrives at an emergency room because of accidental medication poisoning – and every 12 days, that accident is fatal. The six locations in the Texas Poison Center Network receive more than 175,000 calls for help each year. March 18-24 […]

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AARP Program Provides Free Tax Assistance for Texans

by Mark Richardson FORT WORTH, Texas – If you haven’t filed your income-tax return yet and need some help, don’t worry – free, qualified assistance is available near you. The AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide Program offers no-cost services to low- and moderate-income Texans at hundreds of locations for help in preparing and filing federal tax returns. Bart […]

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Texas Teachers’ Group Balks at Carrying Guns in School

by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – After the recent deadly shootings at a Florida high school, gun advocates such as the National Rifle Association and others say arming teachers could avoid another massacre. However, with few exceptions, most teachers in Texas think that’s a bad idea, and that it isn’t their job to take on armed […]

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LULAC Sues Texas, Others Over Electoral College Vote System

by Mark Richardson SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A coalition of activists and attorneys is suing Texas and three other states over their “winner-take-all” system of allocating Electoral College votes. The goal is to overturn a practice that they claim disenfranchises any voter who does not cast his or her ballot for the winning party. Luis Vera, […]

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Study: GOP-Led Education Board Distorts TX History Lessons

by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – A new report claims state education officials are favoring politics over facts in teaching Texas history. A Texas Freedom Network Education Fund study charges the Republican-controlled State Board of Education has altered significant parts of history texts, distorting passages on slavery and the Civil War, civil rights, religion and other topics, […]

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Opponents Say Bill Pending in Congress Weakens ADA Protections

by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – A bill aimed at strengthening the Americans with Disabilities Act may not be what it seems. The U.S. House of Representatives could vote this week on HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, which would give businesses accused of not complying with the law a grace period to […]

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Study: Texas, U.S. Elections Vulnerable to Foreign Hacking

by Mark Richardson DALLAS – When you cast your vote March 6 in the Texas primary, how will you know if your ballot is secure? A new study warns that most states – and particularly Texas – have done very little since 2016 to ensure that no one can tamper with their election results. The study […]

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