Kate Groetzinger

Kate Groetzinger was a legislative fellow at the Texas Observer. She is a graduate from the master's in the journalism program at The University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on audio reporting and podcasting. Kate now serves as a reporter at Utah's NPR station, as a Report for America Corps Member. A native Texan, Kate hails from Waco and has lived in Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
sexual assault, protest, rally, capitol, activists
Texas Legislature

Texas Lawmakers Took on Sexual Assault this Session, but Largely Ignored Sexual Harassment

The state added more than $75 million toward services for sexual assault survivors, but failed to improve protections for workers after pushback from the business lobby.

During a press conference at the beginning of the legislative session in January, state Representative Victoria Neave praised women for speaking out about sexual assault and harassment on social media and promised to pass legislation to help them. “We are … Read More

Health Care

Texans with Disabilities are Struggling to Find Health Care Attendants. Lawmakers Didn’t Do Much to Help.

Community attendants had their $8-per-hour base wage boosted by only 11 cents this session — significantly less than what the governor and state health department requested.

Disability rights advocates say there is a crisis facing community attendants and the people who rely on them. Statewide, about 300,000 attendants help disabled Medicaid patients with basic tasks like getting out of bed, bathing, cooking and transportation to doctor … Read More

Health Care

Despite GOP Support in House, Bill to Provide Contraception to Low-Income Teens Stalls in Senate

House Bill 800 would save the state millions, reduce confusion among providers and lower Texas’ high teen birth rate, supporters say.

Texas has one of the highest teen birth rates in the country, with almost 27,000 babies born to teen mothers in 2017, and the highest rate of repeat pregnancies among teens. Experts say poor access to reproductive health care for … Read More

State Representative Victoria Neave
Health Care

Texas House Advances Bill that Could Actually Clear the Rape Kit Backlog

Lawmakers have been using Band-Aids to address the backlog of untested rape kits since 2011. This session could bring a real fix.

State lawmakers have been talking about fixing the rape kit backlog since 2011, when former state Senator Wendy Davis passed legislation requiring an audit that revealed at least 18,000 untested rape kits in Texas. But the Legislature hasn’t done enough … Read More

Texas Legislature

With Accidental Gun Deaths on the Rise, Some Texas Lawmakers Won’t Even Support a Gun Safety Public Awareness Campaign

The floundering of House Bill 316 shows that Republicans are still unwilling to stand up to the NRA and far-right primary voters.

A 4-year-old boy in Texas City was at home with his grandmother last year when he found a handgun in a bedroom and fatally shot himself. The next day, a 6-year-old boy in Houston was at home with his teenage … Read More

convict leasing, texas capitol, civil rights, racism
Texas Legislature

Civil Rights Activists Push Lawmakers to Confront Texas’ Dark History of Convict Leasing

Convict leasing, which historians have called “slavery by another name,” was used to build the Capitol and earn profits for the state and private companies for decades.

The Texas Capitol is a source of pride for those who walk its ornate hallways each day. But the building’s thick stone walls hold a dirty secret lawmakers and the general public don’t often discuss. “Records show that the red … Read More

Health Care

Texas Lawmakers Propose Funding Increase to Eliminate Waitlists at Rape Crisis Centers

One-quarter of the state’s crisis centers, which provide free services to survivors of sexual assault, have waitlists between two and five months.

Requests for services at rape crisis centers in Texas have increased by around 25 percent since 2016, driving waitlists for counseling up to eight months in some parts of the state, according to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. The … Read More

Pro-choice protesters chant outside the Senate chamber
Texas Legislature

How 50 Years of Feminism in the Texas Legislature Shaped the Fights We See Today

Legislators began tackling issues like funding family planning, equal economic opportunity for women and justice for sexual assault survivors in the early 1970s. Their work continues a half-century later.

Legislators began tackling issues like funding family planning, equal economic opportunity for women and justice for sexual assault survivors in the early 1970s. Their work continues a half-century later. – by Kate Groetzinger February 19, 2019 Senfronia Thompson was elected … Read More


Texas Border Sheriffs: There is No Crisis and We Don’t Want Trump’s Wall

Despite Trump’s attempt to paint the Texas-Mexico border as a war zone, border counties are safer than the president’s own backyard. And local lawmen don’t believe a wall will do any good.

President Trump visited McAllen earlier this month to drum up support for spending $5.7 billion to build more border wall segments on the U.S.-Mexico border. He staged a press conference surrounded by piles of confiscated drugs, guns and cash, describing … Read More