TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 2/3/14

For more than a decade, Texas has maintained the highest rate of people without health insurance in the nation. To help measure the impact of Affordable Care Act enrollment efforts, this interactive provides context on Texas' uninsured population.

After a crackdown a few years ago in Laredo, gaming halls are on the rise again. But local officials aren't quite on the same page about whether to enforce the gambling laws or to try to change them.

The snowstorm that created a traffic nightmare last week in Atlanta last week sheds light on the challenges facing car-dependent urban areas in Texas and other states that see severe winter weather infrequently.

After about a year and a half of development, Texas A&M University-Commerce and South Texas College in late January unveiled a new, innovative response to Gov. Rick Perry's $10,000-college-degree challenge.

Should Texas overhaul its electricity market? And if so, how much would it cost? A highly anticipated report has shed some light on those questions amid an increasingly contentious debate.

With the primaries just a month away, Texas candidates have filed campaign finance reports for Jan. 1-23. We have put those reports into our interactive analyzer, allowing you to view contributions, expenditures and where all of the money originated.

Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, has proposed a dramatic increase in state spending on border security and other crime-fighting initiatives. But he hasn't identified the funding to pay for the programs.

Sen. Wendy Davis has riled conservatives with talk of gun restrictions. But now she's stirring controversy among fellow Democrats for embracing reforms that would allow Texans to openly carry handguns — even into the state Capitol.

After years of political fighting, Congress has passed a farm bill that will bring certainty to agricultural and food assistance policy until 2018. Texas agricultural producers could see big changes. The legislation will cut $8.6 billion in food-stamp benefits over a decade, but Texas recipients won’t be affected.

At Thursday's TribLive conversation, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, a 2014 candidate for Texas lieutenant governor, assessed her GOP rivals.

There are few differences between the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor on immigration, but the issue has taken center stage. Heated rhetoric has drawn concern from groups focused on courting Hispanic voters.

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