TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 8/8/11

Throughout the month of August, The Texas Tribune is featuring 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature — including the dramatically reduced budget — take effect. Check out our story calendar here

The business tax overhaul that Gov. Rick Perry and fellow GOP leaders championed in 2006 as a fix for the school finance system is now under attack in the Texas Supreme Court — as an unconstitutional state income tax. 

Now that Gov. Rick Perry is officially joining the presidential battle this weekend, the inevitable "who is he" and "can he win" stories will begin to flood the airwaves, reports Ben Philpott for KUT News and the Texas Tribune.

In mid-July, candidates and PACs filed reports with the Texas Ethics Commission detailing each individual donation they received from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2011. Use our latest data application to search through those itemized contributions.

The prospect of an open lieutenant governor’s seat in 2014 is attracting candidates and a lot of conversation. Almost no one is talking about who might fill an open seat for governor.

A new law requiring every college student to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis has colleges and universities scrambling — and some observers decrying government intrusion.

As the heat index statewide soars above 100 degrees day after day, Texas inmate advocates say complaints about sweltering conditions are increasing along with concerns about prisoners’ health.

It's not a sales pitch heard too often in the Rio Grande Valley, but farmers and ranchers here have a new, tax-deductible option for improving their businesses — and the company offering it promises to take a bullet for its client.

Nicole Hurd, founder of the National College Advising Corps, on why she believes her program will increase the number of high school graduates going to college — and ease the state's gaping school counselor shortage.

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