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PNS Daily News - June 26, 2017 


We’re covering several issues in today’s news including: it’s a key week for Republicans drumming up support for health care legislation; mayors from around the country speak out against Trump’s climate policies; and why some cattle producers have a beef with the USDA.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - TX: Criminal Justice

Advocates say DNA testing of evidence in rape kits is the key to identifying suspects in sexual assault cases. (GettyImages)

AUSTIN, Texas — With the passage of a bill establishing a tracking system for evidence in sexual-assault cases, Texas has become the first state to implement comprehensive rape-kit reforms. There are an estimated 20,000 or more untested rape kits sitting in evidence lockers around the state,

The sponsor of a new sentencing guidelines bill says its purpose is to keep Texas jails from acting as ”debtor’s prisons.” (Wikimedia Commons)

AUSTIN, Texas – A measure passed by the Texas Legislature is designed to prevent people convicted of low-level crimes from being sent to jail when they can't afford a fine or fees. Senate Bill 1913 was approved by just five votes in the waning hours of the legislative session and awaits the

Opponents object that the Texas “show me your papers” law would allow police to question anyone they stop for traffic violations about their immigration status. (fstop123/GettyImages)

AUSTIN, Texas - The ink was barely dry on Gov. Greg Abbott's signature on Senate Bill 4, the Texas Sanctuary Cities bill, when the battle over it moved from the state Capitol to the courts. Opponents such as the ACLU and MALDEF are preparing to file lawsuits against the so-called "show me your pape

People on death row in Texas spend up to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. A new report calls that torture and a violation of human rights. (Solitary Watch)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The Texas prison system's policy of housing all people on death row in solitary confinement is a form of torture and a violation of human rights, according to a new study. The report from the University of Texas School of Law, finds that the state houses a person awaiting execut

A bill pending before the Texas Legislature would send 17-year-old offenders through the juvenile-justice system rather the adult criminal-justice system. (Popov/iStockphoto)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is one of only a handful of states that still prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults in its criminal justice system, but state lawmakers could soon change that. A coalition of advocacy groups is backing House Bill 122, to change the age of criminal responsibility to 18, movi

Texas is debating

AUSTIN, Texas - The fight over sanctuary cities in Texas has become a high-profile political battle between a county sheriff in Austin and Gov. Greg Abbott. The governor has vowed to withhold millions in state funds under a proposed "Sanctuary Cities" bill if Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez k

Since voter-introduced ballot initiatives aren't allowed in Texas, advocates for legalizing recreational marijuana use say it would have to happen in the Legislature. (iStockphoto)

AUSTIN, Texas – While a number of states approved new laws legalizing marijuana this week, many Texans are asking when the state might change its ban on cannabis use. While voters in states like California, Massachusetts and Maine can change their laws through the ballot box, advocates for leg

The AVOICE hotline provides legal help in Texas for victims of domestic abuse and other violent crimes. (Highwaystarz/iStockphoto)

AUSTIN, Texas -- Victims of violent crime in Texas, particularly victims of domestic abuse, have a strong advocate to help them with legal issues they may face following an assault. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the group Advocates for Victims of Crime, also called AVOICE, wor

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