TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 2/11/13

Dallas County officials on Tuesday adopted a resolution in support of extending Medicaid benefits to impoverished adults under the Affordable Care Act. Advocates for expansion hope it's the first of many.

Freshman state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, has been held up by some Republicans as a symbol of the party’s growing popularity with Hispanics. He says he is only motivated by the issues facing his constituents.

Members of the Texas House are in talks to add some money to public education in the current two-year budget. The Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion from education last session.

This session, renewable energy advocates are bracing to defend critical policies that have helped Texas become the leading wind-power state. The discussions include a renewable energy mandate and a key tax incentive.

Jeffrey Hildebrand, an energy executive from Houston, is likely to be appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to one of three open slots on the University of Texas System Board of Regents, multiple higher education sources have told the Tribune.

Last spring, Texas ninth graders took the STAAR end-of-course exams for the first time. Use our interactive to see how each of the state's school districts performed on the new tests.  

Rick Perry wants to lure businesses from California to Texas. Jerry Brown wants to keep them in California. It's an entertaining partisan and cultural battle, but with substance at its core. 

Texas' public pension systems — including the one state lawmakers pay into — have an airtight exemption from the landmark 1973 sunshine law that was designed to let taxpayers known how public money is being spent. But some lawmakers want to change that.

Full video of Evan Smith's 2/14 TribLive conversation with Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, an announced candidate for lieutenant governor in 2014.

Texas' founders wanted a part-time Legislature with no room for full-time politicians. But paltry state pay means today's lawmakers must hold full-time jobs elsewhere — narrowing the ranks of likely officeholders to those who can afford to do it. 

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