Top officials from state agencies have warned Texas lawmakers that the cost of caring for the state's disabled and poor children and elderly are growing faster than tax revenues.
Appearing before a House Appropriation Subcommittee on Monday, the state's Medicaid chief said the program will likely only achieve 88 percent of the savings lawmakers hoped for. Last year the Legislature balanced the budget by forecasting big savings and shorted the program by roughly $4.8 billion.
Officials with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services have predicted that lawmakers will need to come up with more than $10 billion to cover the current deficit and increases in the next budget.
That could create another crisis next year. Last year the Legislature cut $27 billion in services in the two-year budget.
New Market For Dallas-Based AT&T
Dallas-based AT&T is getting into the home automation and security industry.
The installations and services will be sold in AT&T stores beginning this summer in Dallas and Atlanta.
AT&T says it’s goal is to take home security nationwide, competing with companies such as ADT.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Attorney General Rounds Up Dead Beat Parents
40 parents in North Texas are under arrest for failing to pay court-ordered child support. The Attorney General’s Fugitive Unit made the arrests last week during “Operation Lone Star Support.”
Officials say Collin, Denton and Tarrant were among the 12 North Texas counties where the arrests took place.
Delinquent parents face up to six months in jail.
Last fiscal year, the Attorney General’s child support offices in North Texas collected nearly $400 million in payments.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Girl sought after 1 slain in Dallas home invasion
Dallas police have issued a capital murder warrant for a 16-year-old girl after a home invasion left a man dead and three of his relatives hurt.
Police on Monday did not release the name of the fugitive in the shooting death of 66-year-old Lorenzo Moreno.
Police say Moreno was attacked early Sunday while trying to help his family. Police say Moreno's 62-year-old wife and their 34-year-old son were beaten, along with the couple's teenage granddaughter.
Dallas police say at least six suspects had gone to the home to confront the granddaughter. Police did not release further details on what led to the argument. A television was stolen from the house.
The three wounded relatives were treated and released from a hospital.
Army: no bullet wound found in soldier Skype death
Army investigators say they found no bullet wound and no foul play in the death of a soldier who died during a Skype video chat with his wife.
Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark's wife says her husband fell forward and she saw a bullet hole in the closet behind him, raising the question of whether he had been shot.
But Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, said Monday that no bullet wound was found in Clark's body.
Grey says an autopsy is being done to determine the cause of death.
Dallas hotel open after basement fire, nobody hurt
Authorities say a 10-story downtown Dallas hotel had to be evacuated but nobody was hurt after fire broke out in the basement.
A front desk clerk says the Hotel Lawrence was open for business Monday.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says Sunday night's fire was started by a malfunctioning dryer. Evans says smoke that was reported in the basement traveled up the main stairwell and went out the roof.
He says one sprinkler head activated and helped contain the blaze to the basement.
Evans says the fire was extinguished in less than an hour.
Texas couple claims etouffée prize
A Texas couple took away the top prize at this year's Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival etouffée cook-off, though the voting was too close to call.
John and Jennifer Self of Katy, Texas, tied with a dish by Jimmy Blanchard and Whitney Gary in the first round of judging, forcing the judges to return for a tiebreaker taste-off.
The Advertiser reports the Selfs were competing for the fifth time.
John Self said the essence of a great etouffée is the seasoning. He says a great etouffée is all about the flavor, not the heat.
The Sunday etouffée contest was one of last events in the three-day annual festival.