TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/6/14

Now that candidates have filed with their political parties and the parties have passed the information to the state, we have a list of the nearly 700 people running for state office.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association, the state’s largest and oldest petroleum organization, has told regulators it opposes an overhaul of the wholesale energy market.

A Democratic state representative who is the only Vietnamese-American ever elected to the Texas Legislature will face the winner of a Republican primary that has two Vietnamese-American hopefuls.

 In 2014, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is continuing its quest for a politically palatable model of performance-based funding for public universities.

Lawmakers passed a bill that requires a study of solitary confinement in Texas prisons, but the panel charged with hiring a third party to conduct the research does not have money to fund the study.

The Federal Railroad Administration is moving forward with studies on the environmental impact of building a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston and a shorter line between Fort Worth and Dallas.

Unlike family planning clinics, physician groups generally don't have the funding to provide low-income women with the free or subsidized services that aren't covered by the state-run Women's Health Program.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, in her first major policy proposal as a candidate for Texas governor, said on Thursday that she would increase the supply of teachers and give them more money. But she didn't say how she'd pay for the new programs.

There are an estimated 880 trillion gallons of brackish water underneath the state's surface. But using the salty resource can be tricky: Treating it carries a hefty price tag, and the oversight of its withdrawal isn't clear-cut.

 

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