Marissa Evans, Texas Tribune

Spencer Selvidge

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been accused of going on a nearly two-week-long “serial killing spree” that came to an end on Saturday after he was arrested in connection with the deaths of four women and the kidnapping of a fifth woman.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

State and reproductive rights attorneys are going head to head again in federal court on Monday to argue whether Texas should require health providers to cremate or bury fetal remains.

“It’s a tough case for everybody,” U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra said Friday during a pretrial hearing. In January, he had granted an injunction blocking a state fetal remains burial rule, but he said last week that the previous decision is no indication of how he would rule in the trial.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading Texas into a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for exacerbating the opioid crisis among Texans.

In an announcement Tuesday afternoon, Paxton, a Republican, flanked by several assistant attorney generals, said the state is taking the drug maker to court for misrepresenting the risks of opioid addiction.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Texas’ second attempt to require health providers to bury or cremate fetal remains has been temporarily thwarted by a federal judge.

In his Monday afternoon ruling, U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra said the Texas Department of State Health Services’ arguments “lack merit.”

Texas Tribune

A federal judge has ruled Texas will continue to need oversight of how it cares for vulnerable children, even after sweeping legislative changes last year.

In a 116-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack ruled on Friday afternoon that Texas leaders will remain under the watchful eye of federal special masters for three years as they implement more policies for how abused and neglected children are protected. She wrote in her ruling that “the system remains broken and DFPS has demonstrated an unwillingness to take tangible steps to fix the broken system.”

Elizabeth Ann Colette / Wikimedia Commons

The Trump administration is guaranteeing Texas $135 million to continue helping more than 450,000 uninsured children and pregnant women if Congress doesn’t renew authorization the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Bas Silderhuis

State senators on Monday tentatively approved a bill that would give a state task force more time to study why an alarming number of Texas mothers are dying less than a year after childbirth.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Texas is heading to court over a state law going into effect in September banning the most common second-trimester abortion procedure.  

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday they're suing over a provision in Texas' Senate Bill 8 bill that outlaws dilation and evacuation abortions. In that procedure, a doctor uses surgical instruments to grasp and remove pieces of fetal tissue. SB 8 only allows the procedure to be done if the fetus is deceased.

Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, entered not guilty pleas to abuse-of-office charges Friday in Travis County district court. 

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Texas senators voted Friday to send a bill banning the most common second-trimester abortion procedure and changing how health care facilities handle fetal remains to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. 

iStock.com/Naufalmq

The Texas House on Thursday passed a package of sweeping measures aimed at addressing a crisis in the state's child welfare system.

After a lengthy debate, the House passed Senate Bill 11, a measure that would have Texas shift to a "community-based care" model for handling some endangered children and allowing contracted organizations — not just the resources-strapped state — to monitor children in foster care and adoptive homes.

Faith-based adoption agencies in Texas would be able to reject prospective parents on religious grounds under a bill the state House preliminarily approved Tuesday over strong objections from Democratic lawmakers who said it would ultimately harm children and deny good people the right to care for them.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Abortion providers in Texas that receive federal dollars to offer reproductive health services to low-income people are likely to lose that funding under a measure President Trump signed Thursday. 

The measure allows states to exclude Planned Parenthood and other women's health organizations that provide abortions at some of their clinics from receiving federal "Title X" money, which funds family planning services such as contraceptive counseling, pregnancy tests and STD testing. 

Callie Richmond

Texas legislators from both chambers unanimously passed bills on Wednesday that would change how the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cares for vulnerable children.

Philippe Put

Every Texas legislator should know by now that more mothers are dying less than a year after giving birth. At least that’s what Lisa Hollier believes.

John Jordan / Texas Tribune

U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks on Thursday delayed Planned Parenthood's ouster from the state’s Medicaid program until Feb. 21.

Sparks gave attorneys for Planned Parenthood and the state until Jan. 30 to present their findings.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

"Who doesn't know what's going on with Dawnna Dukes?"

On a rainy Sunday two days before a case against Dukes, the longtime state representative of House District 46, is scheduled to get a grand jury hearing, Joseph Frederick, 57, asked the question with a laugh while getting his hair cut in Delton's Pecan Street Barber Shop in Pflugerville.

Via Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: State Rep. Dawnna Dukes confirmed to The Texas Tribune in an email Monday that she is not resigning from her post representing House District 46. The confirmation comes two days after news reports surfaced indicating she had changed her mind.

Charlie Pearce/Texas Tribune

UPDATE (6 p.m., Saturday): A longtime spokesperson for Rep. Dawnna Dukes told KUT News Saturday evening that the report of Dukes' change of plans would be news to him.

Allison Shelley for Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: As he considers a final ruling on the state's fetal remains burial rule, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks is delaying the start date of the rule for at least another three weeks.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

A board of lawmakers has given final approval for $150 million in funding to help pull the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services out of its crisis mode — but there are strings attached. 

In a letter dated Thursday, the Legislative Budget Board has given the agency the go-ahead to hire 829 new caseworkers and give $12,000 raises to existing ones. The funding includes $142.4 million in state dollars and $7.6 million in federal money. 

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

A Texas legislative panel is recommending $75.3 million in emergency funding for the Department of Family and Protective Services to start fixing the state's dysfunctional foster care system, but agency Commissioner Hank Whitman won't get everything he requested.