Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Northeast Texas is a region in the northeast corner of the U. S. state of Texas. It is geographically centered on two metropolitan areas strung along Interstate 20: Tyler in the west and Longview/Marshall to the east. Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs and Texarkana in the north along Interstate 30, Jacksonville and Palestine to the south are major cities within the region. Most of Northeast Texas is included in the inter-state region of the Arklatex, its climate is wetter than most of Texas and its geography is more hilly and forested. Its culture does not have as much of a Cajun influence. Many of the largest cities in Northeast Texas still follow a rural Southern way of life in dialect, mannerisms and cuisine; the geography is composed of the Piney Woods, a mixed forest of deciduous and conifer flora. The Piney woods cover 23,500 sq mi of rolling or hilly forested land; these woods are part of a much larger region of pine-hardwood forest that extends into Louisiana and Oklahoma. Northeast Texas lies within the Gulf Coastal Plain and receives more rainfall, 35 to 50 inches, than the rest of Texas.
The Sabine River is the major river in Northeast Texas, flows through Longview and several other cities. The Red River flows through the region and forms the northern border with Oklahoma and a portion of Arkansas. In Northeast Texas and the rest of the South, small rivers and creeks collect into swamps called "bayous" and merge with the surrounding forest. Bald cypress and Spanish moss are the dominant plants in bayous; the most famous of these bayous in Northeast Texas is the Cypress Bayou surrounding the Big and Black Cypress rivers around Jefferson. They flow east into the adjoining wetlands cover the rim and islands of the lake. Interstate 20 Interstate 30 U. S. Highway 59 U. S. Highway 67 U. S. Highway 69 U. S. Highway 79 U. S. Highway 80 U. S. Highway 82 U. S. Highway 84 U. S. Highway 175 U. S. Highway 259 U. S. Highway 271 U. S. Highway 287 According to the Northeast Texas Genealogical Society, the following 23 counties comprise Northeast Texas: Culturally Northeast Texas is more akin to Arkansas and Mississippi than it is with West Texas.
Northeast Texas is in the Bible Belt creating a strong Fundamentalist Christian sentiment. Though 35 percent of Texas's population is now Hispanic, African-Americans are still the most populous minority in Northeast Texas. During the Civil Rights Movement several communities clashed over integration. In presidential elections since 1950 both Smith County, Gregg County have been reliably Republican. Much of modern Northeast Texas culture has its roots in traditions. First Monday Trade Days is a monthly flea market held in Texas; the market is held on the Thursday through Sunday preceding the first Monday of each month. It purports to be the largest and oldest continually operated flea market in the United States, is a popular event in the area; the East Texas Oil Museum, located on the campus of Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. It houses the authentic re-creation of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s from the largest oil field inside U. S. boundaries. Tyler, Texas has a rich culture and has been nicknamed the "Rose Capital of America" because of its large role in the rose-growing industry.
S. are grown in Tyler and Smith County and more than half of the rose bushes are packaged and shipped from the area. It boasts the nation's largest municipal rose garden and hosts the Texas Rose Festival each October, which draws more than 100,000 spectators annually; the Northeast Texas Children's Museum is located in Texas. The museum provides playful and creative learning experiences for children in the Northeast Texas area. Many school districts from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and the Northeast Texas area take field trips to the museum. Northeast Texas is home to many lakes; some of the major lakes in the area include: Jim Chapman Lake, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Fork, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Pat Mayse Lake, Lake Palestine, Caddo Lake, Lake O' the Pines, Wright Patman Lake Northeast Texas has a number of higher education institutions including The University of Texas at Tyler, Texas A&M University at Commerce, Texas A&M University at Texarkana, Stephen F. Austin State University located in Nacogdoches, East Texas Baptist University, LeTourneau University, eight public and two private community colleges, a branch of the Texas State Technical College at Marshall, three black colleges, a number of church affiliated private institutions.
The public colleges and universities of the region collaboratively provide degree and course opportunities through the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities. The community colleges of Northeast Texas share a history of emerging from the "junior college" movement of schools focused on providing the first two years of the college degree. Although most added technical programs with Associate of Applied Science Degrees following the community college movement of the 1960s, the schools still place a strong emphasis on liberal arts and the academic Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree programs, they include the full range of college sports, including football, host dormitories, are known for their "high kicking" drill teams. Community Colleges in the region include Kilgore College, home of the world-famous Kilgore College Rangerettes, Paris Junior College, Northeast Texas Community College near Mt. Pleasant, Texarkana College, Panola College in Carthage, Tyler Junior College, Trin
HealthCare.gov is a health insurance exchange website operated under the United States federal government under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which serves the residents of the U. S. states. The exchange facilitates the sale of private health insurance plans to residents of the United States and offers subsidies to those who earn between one to four times the federal poverty line, but not to those earning less than 100% of the federal poverty line; the website assists those persons who are eligible to sign up for Medicaid, has a separate marketplace for small businesses. The October 1, 2013 roll-out of HealthCare.gov went through as planned, despite the concurrent partial government shutdown. However, the launch was marred by serious technological problems, making it difficult for the public to sign up for health insurance; the deadline to sign up for coverage that would begin January 2014 was December 23, 2013, by which time the problems had been fixed. The open enrollment period for 2016 coverage ran from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.
State exchanges have had the same deadlines. The design of the website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and built by a number of federal contractors, most prominently CGI Group of Canada; the original budget for CGI was $93.7 million, but this grew to $292 million prior to launch of the website. While estimates that the overall cost for building the website had reached over $500 million prior to launch, the Office of Inspector General released a report finding that the total cost of the HealthCare.gov website had reached $1.7 billion. On July 30, 2014, the Government Accountability Office released a non-partisan study that concluded the administration did not provide "effective planning or oversight practices" in developing the HealthCare.gov website. The site functions as a clearing house to allow Americans to compare prices on health insurance plans in their states, to begin enrollment in a chosen plan, to find out if they qualify for government healthcare subsidies.
Visitors sign up and create their own specific user account first, listing some personal information, before receiving detailed information about what is available in their area. Designed to assist the millions of uninsured Americans, the comparison shopping features involve a visual format somewhat analogous to websites such as Amazon.com and Etsy. HealthCare.gov details Medicaid options for individuals. This relates to an expansion of the long-running program undertaken as a joint effort under the PPACA; the Congressional Budget Office projected that the exchange would be used by an estimated seven million Americans to obtain coverage during the first year after its launch. President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010 in the East Room before a select audience of nearly 300, he stated that the health reform effort, designed after a long and acrimonious debate facing fierce opposition in the U. S. Congress to expand health insurance coverage, was based on "the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care".
The primary purpose of the PPACA was to increase coverage to the American people either through public or private insurance and control healthcare costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the PPACA would reduce the number of uninsured by 32 million increasing coverage for the non-elderly citizens from 83 to 94 per cent. Insurers were not allowed to deny insurance to applicants with pre-existing conditions; the Sunlight Foundation has stated that at least forty-seven private company contractors have been involved with the PPACA in some capacity as of fall 2013, with the measure causing a wide variety of policy changes. Journalists writing for The New York Times have called the PPACA "the most expansive social legislation enacted in decades". A report by Reuters described HealthCare.gov itself as the "key" to the reform measure. Development of the website's interface as well as its supporting back-end services, to make sure that the website could work to help people compare between health insurance plans, were both outsourced to private companies.
The front-end of the website was developed by the startup Development Seed. The back-end work was contracted out to CGI Federal Inc. a subsidiary of the Canadian IT multinational CGI Group, which subcontracted the work to other companies as is common on large government contracts. CGI was responsible for building some of the state-level healthcare exchanges, with varying levels of success. According to author and journalist John J. Xenakis, CGI Federal's attempt in Massachusetts is characterized as a complete failure. In Xenakis' view, despite the Massachusetts connector being the type of website which a small team of five to ten could create in a few months on a 10 million dollar budget, a team of around 300 with a 200 million dollar budget failed. Xenakis claims CGI Federal were to have hired many incompetent programmers due to Massachusetts transferring the development contract to another firm, Optum Inc; the software created by CGI was of poor quality and unusable by Optum, who had to start from scratch.
CGI has been accused of committing fraudulent tests and reports to those in charge of oversight. Similar problems occurred in many other states. According to John J. Xenakis, the Obama administration granted way too much money to create the federal and individual state websites, which led to lar
Geography of Texas
The geography of Texas is diverse and large. Occupying about 7% of the total water and land area of the U. S. it is the second largest state after Alaska, is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which end in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. Texas is in the south-central part of the United States of America, is considered to form part of the U. S. South and part of the U. S. Southwest. By residents, the state is divided into North Texas, East Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, West Texas, but according to the Texas Almanac, Texas has four major physical regions: Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, Basin and Range Province; this has been cited as the difference between human geography and physical geography, although the fact that Texas was granted the prerogative to divide into as many as five U. S. states may be a historical motive for Texans defining their state as containing five regions. Some regions in Texas are more associated with the Southeast than the Southwest, while other regions share more similarities with the Southwest.
The upper Panhandle is considered by many to have more in common with parts of the plains Midwest than either the South or Southwest. The size of Texas prohibits easy categorization of the entire state wholly in any recognized region of the United States, cultural diversity among regions of the state make it difficult to treat Texas as a region in its own right. Continental and Modified Marine are the three major climatic types of Texas, with no distinguishable boundaries. Modified Marine, or subtropical, dominates the majority of the state. Texas has an annual precipitation range from 60.57 inches in Jasper County, East Texas, to 9.43 inches in El Paso. The record high of 120 °F was reached at Seymour on August 12, 1936, Monahans on June 28, 1994; the low ties at −23 °F in Tulia on February 12, 1899, Seminole on February 8, 1933. Texas covers a total area of 268,581 square miles; the longest straight-line distance is from the northwest corner of the panhandle to the Rio Grande river just below Brownsville, 801 miles.
The width west-to-east, from El Paso to Orange, Texas, is 762 miles. The largest continental state is so expansive that El Paso, in the western corner of the state, is closer to San Diego, than to the Houston and Beaumont area, near the Louisiana state line. Texarkana, in the northeastern corner of the state, is about the same distance from Chicago, Illinois, as it is to El Paso, Dalhart, in the northwestern corner of the state, is closer to the state capitals of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming than it is to Austin, its own state capital; the geographic center of Texas is about 15 miles northeast of Brady in northern McCulloch County. Guadalupe Peak, at 8,749 feet above sea level, is the highest point in Texas, the lowest being sea level where Texas meets the Gulf of Mexico. Texas has five state forests and 120 state parks for a total over 605,000 acres. There are 15 major river systems flowing through 191,000 miles of Texas. Emptying into seven major estuaries, these rivers support over 212 reservoirs.
With 10 climatic regions, 14 soil regions, 11 distinct ecological regions, regional classification becomes problematic with differences in soils, geology and plant and animal communities. The Gulf Coastal Plains extends from the Gulf of Mexico inland to the Balcones Fault and the Eastern Cross Timbers; this large area, including the Texas barrier islands, stretches from the cities of Paris to San Antonio to Del Rio but shows a large variety in vegetation. With about 20 to over 58 inches annual rainfall, this is a nearly level, drained plain dissected by streams and rivers flowing into estuaries and marshes. Windblown sands and dunes, oak mottes and salt marshes make up the seaward areas. National Parks include Big Thicket National Preserve, Padre Island National Seashore and the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site; the North Central Plains are bounded by the Caprock Escarpment to the west, the Edwards Plateau to the south, the Eastern Cross Timbers to the east. This area includes the North Central Plains around the cities of Abilene and Wichita Falls, the Western Cross Timbers to the west of Fort Worth, the Grand Prairie, the Eastern Cross Timbers to the east of Dallas.
With about 35 to 50 inches annual rainfall rolling to hilly forested land is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest of oaks, hickories and gum trees. Soils vary from coarse sands to shet rock clays and shales; the Great Plains include the Llano Estacado, the Panhandle, Edwards Plateau, Toyah Basin, the Llano Uplift. It is bordered on the east by the Caprock Escarpment in the panhandle and by the Balcones Fault to the southeast. Cities in this region include Midland and Odessa and Amarillo; the Hill Country is a popular name for the area of hills along the Balcones Escarpment and is a transitional area between the Great Plains and the Gulf Coastal Plains. With about 15 to 31 inches annual rainfall, the southern end of the Great Plains are rolling plains of shrub and grassland, home to the dramatic Caprock Canyons and Palo Duro Canyon state parks; the largest concentration of playa lakes in the world is on the Southern High Plains of Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Texas' blackland
Economy of Texas
The economy of Texas is the second largest in the United States. It has a gross state product of $1.645 trillion, the second largest in the U. S; as of 2015, Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on 51 overall. In 2017, Texas grossed more than $264.5 billion a year in exports—more than the exports of California and New York combined. As a sovereign country, Texas would be the 10th largest economy in the world by GDP. Texas's household income was $48,259 in 2010 ranking 25th in the nation; the state debt in 2012 was calculated to be $7,400 per taxpayer. Texas has the second largest population in the country after California. Four major business enterprises shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil; the first enterprise to enjoy major success in Texas was cattle and bison. In the early days of Anglo-American settlement furs and hides were the major products derived from cattle. Beef was not popular in the United States; however soon Texas entrepreneurs pioneered the beef industry and demand increased.
The cattle industry enjoyed its greatest financial success in the 1870s and 1880s. Cotton production, known in Texas since Spanish times increased throughout the 19th century. By the early 20th century Texas had become the leading cotton producer in the nation. By the 1920s the cotton industry was past its peak as government regulation and foreign competition took their toll; the forests of Texas have been an important resource since its earliest days and have played an important role in the state's history. The vast woodlands of the region, home to many varieties of wildlife when Europeans first arrived, provided major economic opportunities for early settlers, they today continue to play an important role economically and environmentally in the state. The densest forest lands lie in the eastern part of the state. In particular the Big Thicket region, just north of Houston and Beaumont, has been home to the most dense woodlands; the Big Thicket was uninhabited until heavy settlement from the U.
S. began in the mid-19th century, was used as a refuge by runaway slaves and other fugitives. The Rio Grande valley in South Texas was home to a large palm tree forest when Spaniards first arrived, though today little of it remains; the development of railroads in the eastern part of the state during the mid-19th century led to a boom in lumber production in the 1880s. This era of financial success lasted 50 years coming to an end as Texas' forests were decimated and the Great Depression dropped prices. In 1901 the Gladys City Oil and Manufacturing Company struck oil on Spindletop Hill in Beaumont. Though petroleum production was not new, this strike was by far the largest the world had seen; the find led to widespread exploration throughout Texas and neighboring states. By 1940 Texas was established as the leading oil producer in the U. S. Texas remained rural until World War II though the success of the petroleum industry expanded the economy with heavy industry of many types taking root; the second world war created tremendous demand for petroleum and a variety of products that Texas was in a unique position to provide.
By the end of the war Texas was one of the leading industrial states and the population had become predominantly urban. Additionally the economy had diversified sufficiently that, though petroleum was still the largest sector by the end of the war, the business community in the state was diverse; the Texas economy today relies on information technology and natural gas, defense, biomedical research, fuel processing, electric power and manufacturing. In 2014, for the thirteenth year in a row, Texas led the United States in export revenues. Texas exports for 2008 totaled $192.2 billion. In 2002, the Port of Houston was 6th among the top sea ports in the world in terms of total cargo volume; the ship channel at the Port of Houston—the largest in the U. S. in international commerce and the sixth-largest port in the world. According to the Tax Foundation, Texans' state and local tax burdens are among the lowest in the nation, 7th lowest nationally, with state and local taxes costing $3,580 per capita, or 8.7% of resident incomes.
Texas is one of only 7 states not to have a state income tax. The state sales tax rate, 6.25%, is above the national medium, with localities adding up to 2%. Texas does have a "back to school" sales tax holiday once a year on clothing and footwear under $100; as for Texas's business tax climate, the state ranks 8th in the nation. Property taxes are collected at the local level in the state, are at rates above the national average; as a whole, Texas is a "tax donor state" with Texans receiving back $0.94 per every dollar of federal income taxes collected in 2005. Texas is one of the seven states of the United States with no personal state income tax. In addition, Texas does not allow any lower level of government to impose an income tax; this means that, for the residents of Texas, the maximum rate of income taxation is the top rate set by the US Government. Businesses, except for sole partnerships, are subject to a gross margins tax; the state sales tax is set at 6.25 percent. Cities are allowed to impose an additional 1% tax, additional taxes not to exceed 1% may be approved by voters for any comb
East Texas is a distinct cultural and ecological area in the U. S. state of Texas. According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone County and southeastward towards eastern Galveston Bay", though most sources separate the Gulf Coast area into a separate region. Another popular, somewhat simpler, definition defines East Texas as the region between the Trinity River and east of Houston, as the western border, the Louisiana border as the eastern border, the Gulf of Mexico as the southern border, the Oklahoma border as the northern border, Arkansas as the northeastern border, extending as far south as Orange, Texas; the East Texas Regions includes Tyler, Longview Lufkin, Palestine, Mount Pleasant, Nacogdoches. Most of the region consists of the Piney Woods ecoregion, East Texas can sometimes be reduced to include only the Piney Woods. At the fringes, towards Central Texas, the forests expand outward toward sparser trees and into open plains.
East Texas comprises 41 counties, 38 of which collaborate in sub-regional Ark-Tex Council of Governments, the East Texas Council of Governments, the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission. Counties included are Anderson, Bowie, Cass, Delta, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Jasper, Lamar, Morris, Newton, Panola, Rains, Red River, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Smith, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt, Wood County, Texas; the three additional East Texas counties that join with other regional government councils are Chambers County, Liberty County and Walker County, all three in geographic proximity to the Houston metropolitan areas. Outside of the Greater Houston area the average population density is around 18–45 per square mile, with the population density near the Big Thicket dropping below 18 people per sq mi. East Texas's population is large and is centered around the Golden Triangle, Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange in Southeast Texas. Moving north from the coast and Nacogdoches anchor the population center of Deep East Texas.
Continuing north from Deep East Texas, Tyler and Marshall, in Northeast Texas, along with Texarkana, on the far northeastern border with Arkansas, represent the major population centers in the northern section of East Texas. Only eight miles from the Texas border, Louisiana, is considered the economic and cultural center for the Ark-La-Tex, the area where Arkansas and East Texas meet; the 2010 U. S. Census shows these 41 East Texas counties with a population of 2,057,518 residents, which represents 8% of the total state population of Texas. Per the 2010 US Census records, the five most populous counties are: Jefferson County, Texas Smith County, Texas Gregg County, Texas Bowie County, Texas Angelina County, Texas Per the 2010 US census records, the ten most populous East Texas cities are: Beaumont, Texas Tyler, Texas Longview, Texas Port Arthur, Texas Huntsville, Texas Texarkana, Texas Lufkin, Texas Nacogdoches, Texas Paris, Texas Marshall, Texas According to US Census records from 2010, the population of East Texas counties is 65.93% White Non-Hispanic, 17.44% African-American, 14.29% Hispanic or Latino Origin and 2.34% Other.
East Texas' most ethnically and racially diverse county is Jefferson County, East Texas' largest county which includes the city of Beaumont, with 44.1% White Non-Hispanic, 34.1% African-American, 17.7% Hispanic or Latino Origin and 4.1% Other. Unlike Texas' total state racial demographics, only two counties in East Texas have a majority minority, Jefferson County in the Golden Triangle and Titus County having a 40.6% Hispanic or Latino origin population. East Texas and Southeast Texas has a significant African-American population, ranging to nearly 20% in some counties Climate is the unifying factor in the region's geography—all of East Texas has the humid subtropical climate typical of the Southeast interrupted by intrusions of cold air from the north. East Texas receives 35 to 60 inches, than the rest of Texas. In Houston the average January temperature is 50.4 °F and the average July temperature is 82.6 °F, however Houston has warmer winters than most of East Texas due to its proximity to the coast.
All of East Texas lies within the Gulf Coastal Plain, but with less uniformity than the climate with rolling hills in the north and flat coastal plains in the south. Local vegetation varies from north to south with the lower third consisting of the temperate grassland extending from South Texas to South Louisiana; the upper two-thirds of the region dominated by temperate forest known as the Piney Woods, which extends over 23,500 square miles. The Piney Woods are part of a much larger region of pine-hardwood forest that extends into Louisiana and Oklahoma; the Piney Woods thins out. West of the Piney Woods are the ranchlands and remnant oak forests of the East Central Texas forests ecoregion; the Sabine River, Trinity River, Neches River, Angelina River and Sulphur River are the major rivers in East Texas, but the Br
Gambling in Texas
Legal forms of gambling in the U. S. state of Texas include the Texas Lottery. The Texas Lottery, begun in 1992, offers scratch-off and drawing games, including the multi-jurisdiction Mega Millions and Powerball games. Non-profit organizations and other community groups may operate bingo games and sell pull-tabs, with a license from the Charitable Bingo Operations Division of the Texas Lottery Commission. Bingo sessions are limited with a maximum prize value of $750 for a single game. Local referendums, required to allow bingo, have passed in 226 of the state's 254 counties; as of 2011, there were 1,227 organizations authorized to conduct bingo, they awarded $533 million in prizes. Qualified organizations can hold up to two raffles per year with non-cash prizes. Prize value may not exceed $50,000; the Legislature in 1971 exempted charities from the state's anti-lottery statute, but the act was struck down in 1973 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled that it violated the state constitution's requirement for a ban on lotteries.
Voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing raffles in 1989, enabling legislation went into effect at the beginning of 1990. Parimutuel wagering is allowed at horse and greyhound tracks, overseen by the Texas Racing Commission. Class 1 horse tracks can be granted an unlimited number of racing days. Up to three are allowed, in the state's three largest metropolitan areas, they are: Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Retama Park in Selma, Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. Class 2 tracks can be granted a maximum of 60 racing days per year. Several class 2 tracks are under development, but none are operating. Class 3 licenses are issued to county or nonprofit fairs, allow 16 racing days at most; the only current class 3 license is held by the Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg. Class 4 licenses, of which there are none, are issued to county fairs and allow 5 racing days; the law allows for up to three greyhound tracks in the coastal counties of Cameron and Nueces. The licensed tracks are Gulf Coast Racing in Corpus Christi, Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Valley Race Park in Harlingen.
Since 2010, with the greyhound industry on the decline, racing has been held at Gulf Greyhound Park, with the other two tracks focusing on simulcast betting and offering few to zero live race days. Texas first legalized parimutuel betting in 1933 as a way to raise revenue during the Great Depression. Four major tracks operated in the state, until 1937, when betting was banned again at a special legislative session called by Governor James Allred. In 1960, gambler Virgil "Red" Berry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives on a pro-parimutuel platform, his efforts made little headway, in protest, he proposed in 1969 to split the state in two, with horse betting legal in South Texas. Nonbinding statewide referenda to revive parimutuel betting were defeated in 1962, 1968, 1974, 1978, with opposition led by Baptist churches. A poll on the Republican primary ballot in 1982 found majority support for betting. In 1987, Texas voters approved a referendum legalizing parimutuel wagering again and creating the Texas Racing Commission, with a local election required in any county to allow a track.
Simulcast wagering at tracks was legalized in 1991. Each of Texas's three federally recognized tribes operates a casino; the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas has the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, the Tigua tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo has the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe has Naskila Gaming in Livingston. The latter two have been the subject of extensive litigation, with the state arguing that both are illegal. In the 1980s, court decisions and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act established the rights of Indian tribes to operate any kind of gambling permitted elsewhere in the state. Taking advantage of the legality of bingo in Texas, the Tiguas opened their Speaking Rock high-stakes bingo hall in 1993. Over the following year, its offerings expanded to include poker and "Tigua 21", a non-banking variant of blackjack; the Tiguas sought a compact with the state under the IGRA to allow casino-style, or "class 3" gaming, citing the state's acceptance of a lottery and parimutuel betting, but the state refused to negotiate.
Courts sided with Texas, ruling that the Restoration Act that gave federal recognition to the Tiguas and Alabama-Coushatta in 1987 forbade gambling, took precedence over the IGRA. Despite the ruling, neither federal nor state authorities tried to close the casino, the tribe expanded operations further by adding slot machines in 1996. Republican Governor George W. Bush asked Attorney General Dan Morales in 1998 to take legal action, but Morales, a Democrat, said that responsibility laid with local and federal officials. Morales was succeeded in 1999, however, by Republican John Cornyn, who proceeded with a federal lawsuit against the tribe; the suit was successful, the Speaking Rock Casino closed its doors in February 2002. The Kickapoo casino opened in 1996, offering bingo, its own blackjack variant, electronic pull-tab dispensers designed to look and operate like slot machines. Bush questioned the legality of these "Lucky Tab II" machines at the same time as he was pushing for action against the Tigua casino, so the tribe filed a preemptive lawsuit, won a ruling that they qualified as class 2 devices.
The original facility, constructed of modular buildings, was replaced in October 2004 with a new 100,000-squar