State Officials Walk Back Planned Cuts To Health Programs For Vulnerable Texans

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune

By Rhonda Fanning, Alexandra Hart & Shelly BrisbinSeptember 18, 2020 10:52 am, , ,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Alex Samuels, political reporter for The Texas Tribune.

State health officials walked back a plan to cut $15 million in funding from health care safety net programs, including access to birth control and cancer screenings for low-income Texans. The funding also supports families of children with disabilities or developmental delays.

“The walking back came after lawmakers and advocates warned that not [restoring the funding] would hurt vulnerable Texans,” Samuels said, “and they criticized top state officials for propelling this process without formal input from the Legislature.”

The Texas Supreme Court ruled this week that three Green Party candidates should appear on the November ballot. The Texas Democratic Party had filed suit, charging that the candidates must pay filing fees in order to appear on the ballot. An appeals court had sided with Democrats, but that ruling was then superseded by the state Supreme Court. County election officials must now update overseas and military ballots. Those ballots must be mailed to voters by Saturday.

Voter registration in Texas has plummeted since the beginning of the pandemic. With driver’s license offices closed and no online voter registration available, some of the usual means of getting new people registered have been unavailable. Groups who typically register voters at public gatherings or on the street have also lacked access to those potential voters since the pandemic stopped much of public life in March.

Driver’s license offices began reopening in May.

Texans have until Oct. 5 to register to vote, and applications can be mailed through that date.

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