TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 12/02/13

Here's full video of Evan Smith's Dec. 5 TribLive conversation with Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a 2014 candidate for lieutenant governor.

The Pecos River has avoided some of the challenges faced by the state’s other waterways. But it has not been spared from the ecological changes brought by the manmade lakes bookending its passage through Texas.

Two Republican Dallas legislators — one state, one federal — each face conservative challengers in the coming primary elections. Their districts overlap, and so do their risks that anti-establishment voters might come knocking.

Nearly four-fifths of the candidates currently vying for statewide office either did not respond to a Texas Tribune request to release their tax returns or declined to provide them.

Groundwater doesn't flow according to the state's political boundaries. Yet it's regulated largely along county lines, a decades-old system that is facing increased criticism among some of those fighting for more access to the resource.

The Mérida Initiative, a $1.5 billion U.S. aid package whose beneficiaries include Mexico, has faced its share of criticism. But in Ciudad Juárez, many say they see the positive results of the initiative every day.

Democrat Wendy Davis only makes $7,200 a year in salary as a state senator, but her take-home pay more than doubled between 2010 and 2012 thanks to steadily rising income from her private law practice, tax records show. 

To address privacy concerns raised by state leaders, TDI on Tuesday proposed additional rules for the so-called navigators directed to help Texans find health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

In rapidly growing Texas, which is home to one in 11 children in the United States, child poverty has continued to increase despite an improving economy, according to a report released Tuesday.

With less than three months before early voting starts in the primary, the race to succeed Attorney General Greg Abbott is still up in the air as the candidates vie for the public's attention in a crowded Republican field.

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