TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/21/13

Slightly more than 8,200 voters cast their ballots during the early voting period in the special election to replace the late state Sen. Mario Gallegos. Election day is Saturday in the race, which is likely to head to a runoff.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told a TribLive audience this week how he sees the session, the budget, pilfering from his campaign, his political future — and his feisty attitude toward one Evan Smith of the Tribune.

After years in which the state's spending limit was irrelevant, it may play a key role in budget negotiations this session, and it could make it tougher for lawmakers to tap billions of dollars in the Rainy Day Fund. The state's top budget authority, the Legislative Budget Board, says lawmakers will have trouble accessing billions of dollars in the fund without busting the state's spending cap.

Three days after President Obama called for stricter gun laws nationally, gun owners in Texas gathered in Austin to rally in defense of their Second Amendment rights.

News of multiple gunshot victims at the North Houston campus of Lone Star College this week will probably weigh heavily on the minds of Texas lawmakers as they prepare to consider multiple bills relating to campus safety.

 

Amid concerns over the safety of Texas' public schools in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, at least a dozen of the state's districts are considering policies that would permit employees to carry concealed handguns.

The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates one of the most advanced industries in the world — oil and gas drilling. Yet the commission’s software systems, many of its rules and even its name are from another era. But change is coming.

Ethics reformers are looking to overhaul the personal financial statements state lawmakers must file. The form doesn’t ask for much detail, hasn’t been updated in years and has led to confusion and varying interpretations about what must be revealed.

Our TribLive conversation about family planning and women's health with state Reps. Donna Howard, D-Austin, and Sarah Davis, R-West University Place.

On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion — Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who successfully argued the case, talks with the Tribune about being a woman in the Texas Legislature during the 1970s, how women’s rights have changed and recent anti-abortion legislation.

 

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.