News Roundup: Ken Paxton Says He’s Leading Another Obamacare Lawsuit

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelFebruary 27, 2018 2:21 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas has sued the federal government more than 60 times since 2008. And the state is at it again with a new lawsuit challenging the legality of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that a 20-state coalition filed a lawsuit on February 26. It argues that the entire Affordable Care Act was rendered unconstitutional after Congress enacted a new tax bill last year.

Paxton pointed to a previous U.S. Supreme Court decision on Fox News Channel Tuesday, to back up his position.

Paxton said, “The individual mandate where Congress ordered people to buy health insurance was actually ruled by the Supreme Courts as unconstitutional. But [Chief Justice John] Roberts took into account the penalty and called that a tax and basically allowed this to say in place because of the taxing authority of Congress.”

Roberts who sided with the Supreme Court’s four more liberal members in 2012 to uphold the ACA. Paxton contends that decision doesn’t apply anymore, since the tax overhaul eliminated the penalty for people who don’t sign up for health insurance.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended President Donald Trump’s proposal to arm teachers and provide them with training to respond to school shootings.

Abbott spoke during the president’s public discussion with the nation’s governors on Monday. Abbott said more than a hundred Texas school districts already have what the state calls a “School Marshal Program.” It allows school personnel with a valid License to Carry to apply for and undergo training to have a gun on campus.

“They will have signs out front, a warning sign that ‘Be aware, there are armed personnel on campus,’ warning anybody coming on there that if they attempt to cause any harm, they’re going to be in trouble.”

Other governors at the meeting expressed concern with the proposal.

Texas immigrants are committing fewer crimes than natural-born citizens, according to a new report out from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C.

From KUT News in Austin, Nadia Hamdan has more.

The report uses 2015 data from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Researchers measured the conviction and arrest rates of both legal and illegal immigrants. They found that both types of immigrants committed fewer crimes per capita than native-born Texans. Criminal conviction rates for illegal immigrants were 56 percent below that of natural-born citizens. For legal immigrants, the rate was 85 percent below. According to the study’s author, that means legal immigrants are more law-abiding than virtually any other group in the U.S.

Cato also broke down the data by crime, focusing on things such as arrest rates, homicides and sexual assaults.

The study chose data from Texas specifically, because state law enforcement cooperates more closely with federal immigration agencies, making the data more accurate.