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Newspaper Seeks Data Leak Records & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – A state agency has refused to release some documents on the investigation into the accidental online posting of the personal information of 3.5 million Texans.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that it's been advised, by the state comptroller's office, that some documents on legal action and law enforcement are exempt.

The office on March 31 discovered the data leak. The agency announced April 11 that the data, including names and Social Security numbers, had been on a publicly accessible server for months.

Attorney General Greg Abbott is being asked to rule on the newspaper's open records request for all emails and written communication by the comptroller's office from March 31 through April 12. Some documents have been released, but the newspaper reports there's nothing dated March 31 through April 5.

Senators put poison pill in health program

The Senate Health and Human Services committee has inserted a poison pill into the women's health program.

The measure would kill the program if an organization that provides abortions were to receive any state money to provide birth control or cancer screenings.

State Sen. Bob Deuell said that in the past, groups that provide abortions have won lawsuits to receive state funding. He said to make sure no group that provides abortions gets the chance to receive state money to provide birth control, the bill would automatically shut down the program is such a group won in court.

The Republican-backed bill targets Planned Parenthood. The organization currently receives state funding to provide poor women with health services, angering conservatives. None of that money is spent on abortions.

Students want to pay exoneree after state refused

Students at a Texas university are trying to raise money to pay a wrongfully imprisoned former inmate a $250 speaking fee denied by the state over unpaid child support that accrued while the man was on death row.

Anthony Graves recently visited Prairie View A&M to tell his story of spending 18 years behind bars, including 12 on death row, for murders that prosecutors now say he didn't commit.

The state comptroller has refused to pay nearly $1.4 million in compensation because the order detailing Graves' exoneration lacks the words "actual innocence." Graves is suing to change the order.

A judge ordered that Graves owes back child support, leading to denial of the speaking fee. Graves tells the Houston Chronicle he was "touched" by the efforts of Prairie View students.

Latest woes for Alamo stewards? Rats and money

The troubled caretakers of the Alamo are facing more problems: rats and rent payment woes.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas are already in jeopardy of losing stewardship of the Alamo after 106 years. On top of that, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday that the group is having trouble paying rent and utilities at its Austin headquarters.

According to minutes of an April meeting, the Daughters had no money to pay bills or several employee salaries. It also contained a note that read, "The newest problem is rats!"

Alamo spokesman Tony Caridi said the problems in Austin don't reflect on the management of the Alamo in San Antonio.

Lawmakers may strip the Daughters of their caretaker role at the Alamo amid allegations of financial mismanagement and poor decision-making.