TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 6/13/11

Lawmakers filed a whopping 5,796 bills during the 82nd legislative session and approved nearly a quarter of them. Use our data visualizations to take a closer look at how bills performed in the upper and lower chambers and how each political party and committee fared.

Lawmakers had two big budget problems to solve this session: a $4 billion deficit in the current biennium's budget and an estimated $15 billion revenue shortfall for the 2012-13 biennium. After a regular session full of heated debates and contentious "fiscal matters" bills, lawmakers are still at the Capitol hammering out the final details. We’ve culled The Texas Tribune’s coverage of the budget shortfall to link readers back to the major budget stories of the session. Our interactive timeline follows the money through the regular session, capturing the debates, the drama and the developments along the way.

Texans are hammering away at Barack Obama for failing to secure our borders and for refusing to put forward a comprehensive immigration-reform plan, but the number of federal prosecutions for "illegal re-entry" has quietly skyrocketed under his administration.

In a victory for environmental groups, the LCRA board decided to delay the decision on whether to grant a large water contract to the proposed White Stallion coal plant near Bay City.

The state of Texas incarcerated him for nearly two decades — and nearly executed him twice — for murders he didn't commit. Now, the state is balking at giving him the $1 million he's owed for all the years he spent wrongfully imprisoned. Despite it all, Anthony Graves remains positive.

Of the new University of Texas System regents, none has received more scrutiny than Alex Cranberg. After months of controversy, he said the time has come to “push a reset button” on the relationship between the regents and the leadership at UT.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a national abortion-rights advocacy group, has filed suit over Texas' newly signed abortion sonogram law, alleging it violates the First Amendment rights of the doctor and the patient.

Gov. Rick Perry, moving closer to a run for the White House, took his anti-Washington message to New York City Tuesday, telling a gathering of Republican donors that the Obama administration had “promised jobs and … delivered economic misery.” It comes as Perry steps out increasingly on the national stage.

Across the state, school districts are considering raising local taxes to pay for the state shortfall in funding. But will the same public that sent lawmakers to Austin in November with an overwhelming no-new-taxes imperative accept paying more locally to preserve programs and jobs?

 

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