TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/20/14

The Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday issued state regulations for health care "navigators," the workers who assist people seeking health insurance in the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

Texas' recent designation as one of six test states for a federal project that seeks to expand the use of drones is spotlighting how far apart border lawmakers are on using more unmanned aircraft for border security.

Retired dentist David Alameel of Dallas has the backing of state Sen. Wendy Davis in his bid for U.S. Senate, but a primary opponent is questioning his support of abortion rights

The results of UT-Austin’s first foray into massive open online courses are in. But advocates for the classes recommend looking beyond the fall completion rates — which range between 1 and 13 percent — to measure success.

As the utilities and big energy users spar in Austin over how to best encourage the building of power plants, another important issue that is getting less public attention is about how Texas can curb its energy use.

 

Our interactive breakdown of campaign finance reports from the second half of 2013 includes the totals for candidates, expenditures, loans and cash on hand at the end of the year, and offers several ways to look at the details.

Wendy Davis pushed back hard against the latest round of coverage of her early life and subsequent attacks from national conservative mainstays such as Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart.com.

The campaign manager for state Sen. Wendy Davis on criticism that Davis blurred key details of her past, whether Davis will campaign with President Obama and whether Davis is running away from the abortion issue.

After re-electing Harvey Hilderbran every two years since 1992, the voters in House District 53 are vetting a group of fresh faces and hosting a slew of candidate forums to hear where the GOP primary candidates stand on issue No. 1 — water.

A bid by San Antonio's water utility to declare ownership of the sewage it treats and releases has sparked a regional tug-of-war — one that could become more common as Texas' thirsty water users struggle to protect their supplies.

Lawyers representing nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts in a lawsuit against the state argued Tuesday that not only was a 2013 legislative funding boost short term, but that other changes had increased costs for schools.

With most candidates' campaigns for the March primaries in full swing, Hispanic Republicans trying to increase their numbers in the state House are mostly looking past the primaries. Their main fight is in November.

Companies that exist only to collect dormant patents and then sue for infringement are a growing threat to firms, but both businesses and lawmakers are beginning to take action. While bills slowly grind through Congress, some Texas lawmakers are considering ways for the state, which has increasingly invested in the software industry, to address the issue.

 

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