Tag: texas tribune

Rate of Prison Spending Growth Outpaces Schools

Texas spending on prisons and jails is the highest in the nation, a new federal study concludes, and has grown about five times faster than the state’s rate of spending growth on elementary and secondary education over the past three decades. But the state still spends significantly more on its schools than its prisons.

A new analysis of federal data released last week by the U.S. Department of Education found that Texas corrections spending increased by 850 percent between 1989 and 2013, while the rate of funding for pre-kindergarten to grade 12 education grew by 182 percent. In the 1979-80 fiscal year, for example, Texas spent $14 billion on education and almost $604 million on corrections. In 2013, it spent about $41 billion on schools and $5 billion on incarceration (in constant 2013 dollars).

Texas Lawmaker Warns of Outer Space Death Pulse

Austin, Don’t say Bob Hall didn’t warn you.

An existential threat hangs over America, the Republican Texas state senator from Edgewood believes. Specifically, electromagnetic pulse attacks — shockwaves of energy from outer space that would fry the nation’s electric grid. He sees food and water shortages starving and parching millions, natural gas line explosions engulfing cityscape in flames. And he wants Texas to be the frontline in preparing for it.

Lawmakers to Consider Fetal Tissue Laws

Texas lawmakers will meet Thursday to examine policies on how human fetal tissue can be used for scientific research. It will be the first hearing on the subject since a Harris County grand jury in January indicted two undercover videographers who circulated videos about how fetal tissue was procured at Planned Parenthood clinics.

The issue came under heavy scrutiny from Republican leaders in Texas last year after the videographers, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, accused Planned Parenthood of breaking a federal law that bans the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied the accusations, which were dismissed by a Houston grand jury. That grand jury instead chose to indict the videographers on charges of tampering with a governmental record.