The Texas Tribune: Karen Brooks Harperhttps://www.texastribune.org/about/staff/karen-brooks-harper/The latest news by Karen Brooks Harper.enTue, 14 May 2024 05:00:00 -0500Texas leaders zero in on exploding hemp markethttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/05/14/texas-senate-hemp-marijuana/Thousands of hemp dispensaries have sprung up in Texas in the years since consumable hemp became legal.By Karen Brooks Harper and Yuriko SchumacherTue, 14 May 2024 05:00:00 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/05/14/texas-senate-hemp-marijuana/Shayda Torabi, owner of Restart CBD, inside her store in Austin on May 9. Torabi, along with her two sisters, became curious about the properties of the plant after Torabi had an accident and started using CBD to manage her pain.Owner Shayda Torabi, poses for a photo inside of Restart CBD on Thursday, May 9, 2024 in Austin. Torabi, along with her two sisters, become curious about the properties of the plant after Torabi had an accident and started using CBD as a solution to manage her pain.Maria Crane/The Texas TribuneFamilies and schools must work together to tackle youth mental health crisishttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/30/young-texans-mental-health/The Texas Tribune hosted a panel conversation on the causes and challenges of the youth mental health crisis in the state.By Karen Brooks Harper and Martín SlipczukFri, 03 May 2024 09:53:42 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/30/young-texans-mental-health/Legalized marijuana supporters hope voters in this Texas city will send a message to state lawmakershttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/05/02/lubbock-texas-marijuana-election/There is no process in Texas for a voter-driven statewide referendum. So, supporters are going city by city to build statewide momentum.By Karen Brooks HarperThu, 02 May 2024 11:00:00 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/05/02/lubbock-texas-marijuana-election/A shirt promotes the legalization of marijuana in Lubbock at the South Plains Fair in Lubbock on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.A shirt promotes the legalization of marijuana in Lubbock at the South Plains Fair in Lubbock on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.Justin Rex for The Texas TribuneState’s premature release of bid proposal info touches off new battle over $116 billion in Medicaid contractshttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/26/texas-medicaid-contracts/The early release of documents meant a single competitor got an early look at the other bidders’ playbooks before final winners were announced.By Karen Brooks HarperFri, 26 Apr 2024 17:27:27 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/26/texas-medicaid-contracts/Sonia Wood, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, treats a patient at Carousel Pediatrics in Austin, Texas on Nov. 8th, 2012.Sonia Wood, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, treats a patient at Carousel Pediatrics in Austin, Texas on Nov. 8th, 2012. Spencer Selvidge for the Texas TribuneSeattle Children’s Hospital won’t have to provide trans patient records to Texas under new settlementhttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/22/texas-trans-health-care-investigation-seattle/Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suspected the hospital was helping Texas kids access puberty blockers or hormone treatments that are outlawed for juveniles.By Karen Brooks HarperMon, 22 Apr 2024 18:30:14 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/22/texas-trans-health-care-investigation-seattle/Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a press conference in 2021.State Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a press conference at the Houston Recovery Center on Oct. 26, 2021.Mark Felix for The Texas TribuneProposed changes to state Medicaid plans could shake up health coverage for 1.8 million low-income Texanshttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/18/texas-medicaid-provider-contracts/The move, which has not been finalized, would drop three large health plans run for two decades by nonprofit children’s hospitals.By Karen Brooks HarperThu, 18 Apr 2024 05:00:00 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/18/texas-medicaid-provider-contracts/Texas Children’s Hospital and other buildings in the Texas Medical Center in Houston on June 26, 2020.Texas Children’s Hospital and other buildings in the Texas Medical Center in Houston on June 26, 2020.May-Ying Lam for the Texas TribuneAppeals court blocks $100,000 daily fine for Texas’ troubled foster care programhttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/15/texas-foster-care-federal-judge-fine-contempt/Jack’s order to fine Texas Health and Human Services on Monday was the third time the state has been found in contempt over foster care conditions since 2011.By Karen Brooks HarperMon, 15 Apr 2024 17:58:57 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/15/texas-foster-care-federal-judge-fine-contempt/U.S. District Judge Janis Jack administers the U.S. oath of citizenship to more than 100 area residents representing 25 countries in 2008 aboard the USS Lexington. Graham Jack was the first woman federal judge to serve in Texas south of San Antonio. July 5, 2008U.S. District Judge Janis Jack administers the U.S. oath of citizenship to more than 100 area residents representing 25 countries in 2008 aboard the USS Lexington. Jack was the first woman federal judge to serve in Texas south of San Antonio. July 5, 2008.Courtesy of Todd Yates/Corpus Christi Caller-TimesTexas counties, cities embrace new child care center tax credit even though few providers qualifyhttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/04/texas-child-care-tax-exemption/Child care centers are struggling to make ends meet, and a new voter-approved tax credit is a first step toward boosting the flagging system, advocates say.By Karen Brooks HarperThu, 04 Apr 2024 05:00:00 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/04/texas-child-care-tax-exemption/Kindergarten students are loaded into a van by Pita Espinosa so they can be driven to their elementary school from the Learning Tree childcare center in Yoakum, on Sept. 13, 2022.Kindergarten students are loaded into a van by Pita Espinosa so they can be driven to their elementary school from the Learning Tree childcare center in Yoakum, on Sept. 13, 2022.Annie Mulligan for The Texas TribuneYears ago, Texas hustled to get kids on state health care. Now it’s kicking them off.https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/02/texas-chip-medicaid-enrollment/Texas’ recent unwinding of Medicaid and CHIP has been criticized, dropping more than a million people eligible for the health insurance programs. Decades ago, Texas officials got kids health insurance in record time.By Karen Brooks HarperTue, 02 Apr 2024 05:00:00 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/04/02/texas-chip-medicaid-enrollment/August Johansen looks through the glass door of the birthday venue while cradling a balloon on Dec. 9, 2023. He had inoperable brain cancer and depended on Medicaid to pay for full-time home nursing care from a private agency to help his mother take care of him throughout years of health crises.August Johansen looks through the glass door of the birthday venue while cradling a balloon on Dec. 9, 2023. He had inoperable brain cancer and depended on Medicaid to pay for full-time home nursing care from a private agency to help his mother take care of him throughout years of health crises. But in December, he became one of 810,000 children dropped from Texas’ Medicaid program in the previous five months, but was reinstated through his mother's efforts.Azul Sordo for The Texas TribuneTexas appeals court overturns Crystal Mason’s conviction, 5-year sentence for illegal votinghttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/28/texas-illegal-voting-conviction-crystal-mason/Mason gained national attention after she was convicted for voting while under supervised release for felony tax fraud. She said she didn’t know she was ineligible to vote.By Karen Brooks HarperThu, 28 Mar 2024 21:47:23 -0500https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/28/texas-illegal-voting-conviction-crystal-mason/Crystal Mason in Fort Worth on Sept. 9, 2019.Crystal Mason in Fort Worth on Sept. 9, 2019.Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas TribuneSchool voucher supporters bask in primary wins, say goals are within reachhttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/06/texas-primaries-vouchers-school-choice/Gov. Greg Abbott called the results “an unmistakable message.” His allies said the state is “closer than ever” to a voucher program.By Karen Brooks HarperWed, 06 Mar 2024 17:42:13 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/06/texas-primaries-vouchers-school-choice/Insurgent Republicans make major gains in Texas primarieshttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/06/texas-primaries-gop-incumbents-defeated/The shockwaves rippled up and down the ballot as incumbent state House members, judges and other state leaders were forced into runoffs or defeated outright.By Karen Brooks HarperWed, 06 Mar 2024 01:07:31 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/06/texas-primaries-gop-incumbents-defeated/Tuesday night's primaries will bring significant change to the Texas Capitol.Morning sunlight falls on the Texas Capitol dome on Sept. 16, 2023, in Austin.Julius Shieh/The Texas TribuneState Sen. Nathan Johnson victorious after surprise challenge from Rep. Victoria Neave Criadohttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/05/nathan-johnson-victoria-neave-criado-texas-senate/Johnson is virtually assured to have won the seat, because there is no Republican challenger in November.By Karen Brooks HarperTue, 05 Mar 2024 22:15:35 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/05/nathan-johnson-victoria-neave-criado-texas-senate/State Sen. Nathan Johnson at a Senate Democratic Caucus Press Conference on April 17, 2019.Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Press Conference on April 17, 2019.Juan Figueroa/The Texas TribuneVoting sites expected to open in Panhandle on Tuesday, despite wildfireshttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/04/texas-wildfires-panhandle-voting-polling-locations/Candidates continued their campaigns at a subdued pace, as they focused on getting resources for fire victims.By Karen Brooks Harper and Robert DownenMon, 04 Mar 2024 17:04:35 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/04/texas-wildfires-panhandle-voting-polling-locations/Abbott vowed to campaign against anti-voucher GOP House members. Why did these six candidates get spared?https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/01/greg-abbott-texas-house-vouchers-revenge/With the March 5 election just a few days away, six anti-voucher House GOP incumbents managed to sidestep Abbott’s revenge warpath.By Karen Brooks HarperFri, 01 Mar 2024 05:00:00 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/03/01/greg-abbott-texas-house-vouchers-revenge/Gov. Greg Abbott during a property tax cut bill signing ceremony in New Caney, on Aug. 9, 2023.Gov. Greg Abbott during a property tax cut bill signing ceremony in New Caney, on Aug. 9, 2023.Douglas Sweet Jr. for The Texas TribuneGreg Abbott, Tim Dunn spend millions in Texas GOP primary fights over vouchers, impeachmenthttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/27/greg-abbott-tim-dunn-paxton-vouchers-republican-primary-texas/Texans For Lawsuit Reform and pro-voucher groups are also spending millions.By Robert Downen and Karen Brooks HarperTue, 27 Feb 2024 16:49:03 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/27/greg-abbott-tim-dunn-paxton-vouchers-republican-primary-texas/Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs a bill banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the Governor's Mansion in Austin on Nov. 10, 2023.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs a bill banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the Governor's Mansion in Austin on Nov. 10, 2023.Julius Shieh/The Texas TribuneRep. Victoria Neave Criado launched a surprise bid against fellow Democrat Sen. Nathan Johnson. Here’s why she did it.https://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/23/texas-election-senate-democrats-victoria-neave-criado-nathan-johnson/In a district composed mostly of communities of color, Neave Criado hopes to topple Johnson with her stances on immigration, domestic violence and women’s issues.By Karen Brooks HarperFri, 23 Feb 2024 05:00:00 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/23/texas-election-senate-democrats-victoria-neave-criado-nathan-johnson/State Rep. Victoria Neave Criado, D-Dallas, and state Sen. Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas are facing off in the March primary as Neave Criado challenges the incumbent Johnson.State Rep. Victoria Neave Criado, D-Dallas, and State Sen. Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas.Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune and Julius Shieh/The Texas Tribune.Child welfare officials move to reduce Texas judge’s oversight of embattled foster systemhttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/21/texas-foster-care-lawsuit/The request to remove several court orders marks the first time the state has made any major attempt to get out from under an injunction issued in the 13-year-old case.By Karen Brooks HarperWed, 21 Feb 2024 18:25:35 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/21/texas-foster-care-lawsuit/The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services offices in Austin on Nov. 14, 2019.The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services offices in Austin on Nov. 14, 2019.Eddie Gaspar/The Texas TribuneFrustration boils as Gov. Greg Abbott, AG Ken Paxton target GOP incumbentshttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/21/glenn-rogers-texas-gop-primary/Big spending and anger surround reelection bids for state House members like Glenn Rogers, who’s facing heat for votes on vouchers and Ken Paxton’s impeachment.By Karen Brooks HarperWed, 21 Feb 2024 11:02:12 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/21/glenn-rogers-texas-gop-primary/State Rep. Glenn Rogers, R-Graford, walks to his desk on the House floor prior the gaveling in of the second special session of 2021 on Saturday, August 7.State Rep. Glenn Rogers, R-Graford, walks to his desk on the House floor prior the gaveling in of the second special session of 2021 on Saturday, August 7.Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas TribuneTexas House candidate Kyle Biedermann blasts expulsion of Bryan Slaton, removed for having sex with a drunk internhttps://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/08/kyle-biedermann-bryan-slaton-texas-house/In a statement, Biedermann said the point he was trying to make was that leaders “selectively punish impropriety.”By Karen Brooks Harper and Robert DownenThu, 08 Feb 2024 14:17:09 -0600https://www.texastribune.org/2024/02/08/kyle-biedermann-bryan-slaton-texas-house/Former state Reps. Bryan Slaton, Kyle Biedermann on the House floor at the state Capitol in Austin on April 26, 2021.Former state Reps. Bryan Slaton, Kyle Biedermann on the House floor at the state Capitol in Austin on April 26, 2021.Evan L'Roy/The Texas Tribune