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State Headlines

Officer: Texas cop didn’t say “gun” before fatal shooting, search

Posted/updated on: December 6, 2022 at 4:11 pm

FORT WORTH (AP) – A Texas police officer who fatally shot a Black woman through a rear window of her home three years ago didn’t say the woman was holding a gun before he pulled the trigger and never mentioned the weapon before searching the house, according to the officer who was with him that night. Fort Worth Officer Carol Darch’s testimony Tuesday in Aaron Dean’s murder trial for killing Atatiana Jefferson spoke to a key issue in the case: whether Dean saw Jefferson’s gun before he opened fire. Dean’s lawyers say the white officer saw the weapon, while prosecutors contend that the evidence will show otherwise.

Governor names new secretary of state

Posted/updated on: December 6, 2022 at 4:00 pm

AUSTIN (KRLD) – Governor Greg Abbott has made his pick for Texas’s top election official. Senator Jane Nelson has been tapped to become the new Texas secretary of state, just a day after Secretary John Scott announced he’s stepping down. Scott had served as secretary of state for just over a year. He oversaw the forensic audit of the 2020 general election in Texas and was connected to an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election votes in Pennsylvania. In speaking of Senator Nelson’s appointment, Abbott says her lifelong commitment to public service and deep understanding of state government will be assets in the new role. Scott will officially resign December 31, with Nelson taking over in the new year.

Lawmakers want PUC to hold off on power market redesign

Posted/updated on: December 6, 2022 at 4:00 pm

AUSTIN (WOAI) – The Texas Public Utilities Commission wants to do an extreme makeover of the electricity market in the state, but the Legislature is saying, “not so fast.” The PUC had been planning a power market redesign, but lawmakers said they want the Commission to hold off until they can weigh in on it. Chairman Peter Lake told the House State Affairs Committee Monday the reliability proposal would mean more natural gas power plants being constructed in Texas. The Texas Tribune reports when the Legislature convenes on January 10, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will seek to use the state’s budget surplus to further fix the grid, while Gov. Abbott promised to use that same money for property tax relief.

Texas kicks off construction of new psychiatric hospital in Dallas

Posted/updated on: December 6, 2022 at 4:00 pm

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Children’s Health hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to celebrate the start of construction on the state’s newest psychiatric hospital in Dallas, The Texas Behavioral Health Center at UT Southwestern. The project is part of the state’s comprehensive plan to expand inpatient psychiatric beds, according to a news release from the Health and Human Services Commission. “Texas is making an unprecedented investment in helping people with serious mental illness. Throughout the state we are expanding, renovating and rebuilding our state psychiatric hospital system from the ground up,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young as quoted in the release. Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature approved $282.5 million in funding for the construction and design of a new hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Investors press railroads to add sick time for workers

Posted/updated on: December 6, 2022 at 4:00 pm

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The major freight railroads now face pressure from investors to add sick days after Congress declined to require them as part of the contracts they imposed last week to avert a potentially devastating nationwide rail strike. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said Monday that two investment managers it works with filed proposals at Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern railroads to allow shareholders to vote on whether rail workers should get paid sick leave. Similar proposals are likely at CSX and at BNSF’s parent company of Berkshire Hathaway. The lack of paid sick time in the industry became a major sticking point this fall in contract talks between the railroads and their 12 unions.

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