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Texas Republicans who opposed vouchers face primary attacks

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by Patrick Svitek, The – 2024-01-31 06:00:00

SUMMARY: Texas Governor Greg Abbott is taking his “revenge tour” into its final month as he and his allies escalate their campaign against GOP incumbents who opposed his school voucher program last year. The School Freedom Fund, a pro-voucher group, is launching a $1.15 million ad campaign targeting eight Texas GOP house primaries. Another group, AFC Victory Fund, is endorsing primary challengers and attacking the anti-voucher incumbents. Abbott himself is returning to campaign for pro-voucher candidates and has been supported by billionaire Jeff Yass, a major donor to pro-voucher initiatives and Abbott's campaign. Some targeted Republicans have started defending themselves against the attacks, asserting their independence and support for public education.

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The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Texas Tribune

Travis County to launch $23 million project to keep mentally ill from jail

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by Stephen Simpson, The – 2024-02-26 06:00:00

SUMMARY: Texas sheriffs struggle with the inefficiency of cycling mentally ill or intoxicated individuals through jails, witnessing quick releases and reentries. To tackle the issue, Travis County is launching a $23 million three-year pilot in March for a mental health diversion center. This program, inspired by successful models in other cities, aims to provide better treatment paths and reduce re-arrests. The project will initially use a former clinic, with plans to gather data and expand to a permanent facility offering comprehensive care and housing services. Officials anticipate the permanent structure to be in place by 2029 or 2030.

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Andy Brown speaks on a panel on Feb. 7, 2024. Brown is a Judge for the Travis County Commissioners Court.

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Tamara Needles moderates a panel including Andy Brown, Ann Howard and Sally Hernandez about the launch of Travis County's Mental Health Diversion Pilot and the plans for a permanent Mental Health Diversion Center.

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Sally Hernandez smiles as she is introduced as a panelist on Feb. 7, 2024. Hernandez is a Travis County Sheriff.

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The post Travis County to launch $23 million project to keep mentally ill from jail appeared first on TexasTribune.org.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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El Paso leaders rally around migrant shelter after AG threat

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by Uriel J. García, The – 2024-02-23 17:12:19

SUMMARY: El Paso leaders, including U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, condemned Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's threat to shut down Annunciation House—a 50-year-old migrant shelter network. Paxton's lawyers demanded records from the shelters and refused a request for more time, threatening closure. A lawyer representing the shelter sued, saying Paxton is focusing his power on a religious organization, which Paxton accuses of criminal offenses, including smuggling and operating a stash house. Despite the legal battle, local officials emphasize the city's commitment to providing aid to migrants. A hearing is set for March 7.

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The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Ken Paxton accuses Denton principals of illegal electioneering

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by Ikram Mohamed, The – 2024-02-23 15:49:39

SUMMARY: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit against Denton Independent School District, alleging violation of state law by principals Lindsay Lujan and Jesus Lujan for sending staff emails from school accounts advocating against school voucher opponents. These emails, sent in February, included links to candidate lists and emphasized the importance of educator turnout in primaries, with both principals allocating time for staff to vote. Paxton argues that the use of government resources for political campaigning is improper, seeking injunctions to prevent such practices. Denton ISD has committed to following election laws and training staff accordingly.

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The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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