Tuesday, July 26, 2016

For 2306 today

- Major Ken Paxton donor paying $3.5 million settlement after Medicaid fraud probe.

A North Texas company whose president gave state Attorney General Ken Paxton $100,000 last year to fight his felony fraud indictments will pay $3.5 million after allegations it skimped on services to Medicaid and Medicare patients while over-billing the government.
A former employee who brought the original lawsuit against Preferred Imaging LLC, a medical diagnostic company headed by James H. Webb of Frisco, alleged the company was performing services that require the oversight of a supervising doctor without one on-site.
The story link to the part of the Texas Penal Code that cover bribery: click here for it.

- As the GOP Convention Begins, Ohio Is Purging Tens of Thousands of Democratic Voters.

Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says more than 2 million voters have been purged since 2011. From 2011 to 2014, 846,000 were struck for infrequent voting and 480,000 for moving. “Of the 2 million purged, 1.2 million are questionable purges,” says State Representative Kathleen Clyde, a Democrat from Kent who has led opposition to the purge. “We shouldn’t be playing games with people’s voter registrations and fundamental right to vote. Instead we should be trying to get them to the polls.”
The purge works like this: If a voter misses an election, Ohio sends them a letter making sure their address is still current. If the voter doesn’t respond, Ohio puts them on an inactive list, and if the voter doesn’t vote in the next two elections they are removed from the rolls.

Wade Emmert: Abbott's police protection act is a well-intentioned slippery slope.

Gov. Greg Abbott is the latest state leader to propose extending hate crime protections to law enforcement officers in the wake of the recent police shootings. Louisiana did it earlier this year, and similar proposals are being considered in Massachusetts, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
The desire to provide greater protections to police officers is a perfectly understandable response to a seeming epidemic of violence against police. But we should objectively evaluate legislation crafted as a response to a horrible tragedy.
With the recent slayings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, there is no better time to reinforce the public bond between the men and women who put their lives at risk each day and the citizens they protect.
Nevertheless, however well-intentioned the proposal, designating these crimes as "hate crimes" does not actually provide police officers with any greater protection than current law.

- Judge Orders Voter ID Fix for Texas House Runoff.

Voters in Bexar County will be the first to cast their ballots under relaxed regulations after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ strict voter identification law discriminated against minority voters.
Signing off on a deal struck by Texas and opponents of its embattled law, a federal judge on Saturday gave voters new options for identifying themselves at the polls.
The order from U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos applies only to the special runoff election for Texas House District 120, which includes San Antonio's east side. But it could foreshadow broader efforts to redraw the 2011 Texas law — Senate Bill 14 — to comport with the Voting Rights Act.

- Texas budget still works despite economic turbulence, comptroller says.

The slumping energy industry is dampening Texas’ economy just as lawmakers face a new obligation to pour billions of dollars into transportation, the state comptroller told legislative leaders Monday.
But Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar didn’t sound an alarm in his presentation to the Legislative Budget Board, which is headed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.
The state still has a cushion of money that lawmakers left unspent when they last met in 2015, and it’s in a better position than a number of other energy states, Hegar said.
“The budget continues to work,” he said after his presentation. “If you look at us compared to others, we should be very thrilled we are not in a recession.

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