Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Health Reform Roulette

Even as Texas pursues a lawsuit attacking federal health care reform, some state officials are reluctantly laying the groundwork to implement parts of the law.

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Inside Intelligence: A Real Legislative Emergency is...

For the latest installment of our nonscientific survey of political and policy insiders on issues of the moment, we asked whether voter fraud is a policy issue or a political one, what should and shouldn't be on the governor's list of emergency items for the Legislature, how those designations should be used and whether the Legislature ought to be allowed to set its own early priorities.

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A Conversation With Michael Williams

For our latest TribLive conversation, I sat down with the soon-to-be-ex railroad commissioner and declared 2012 U.S. Senate candidate to talk about why he's running, what he thinks of his potential primary opponents and how his campaign will or won't be impacted by his race.

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Counting Noses

When San Antonio Sen. Gregory Luna, a Democrat, was dying in 1999, he got the lieutenant governor at the time — Rick Perry — to agree to give him 24 hours notice before any Senate vote on a public school voucher bill Luna opposed. He would get to Austin, he said then, to be the deciding vote against that legislation.

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Todd Wiseman

Artistic Development

Creative industries — from advertising to dance companies to book publishing — generate $4.5 billion per year in economic activity for Texas, according to a new report released by the Texas Cultural Trust in association with the Texas Commission on the Arts. The report features projects in communities like Amarillo, El Paso, Rockport, Texarkana and the tiny, north central Texas town of Clifton, population 3,795. “It’s more than fluff,” says Amy Barbee, the Trust's executive director. “We want to tell the story that the arts truly are economic development.”

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on what happens — and doesn't — when police don't analyze evidence taken from rape victims, Dehn with video highlights of the Senate debate over photo voter ID, Aguilar on the more than three dozen immigration-related bills waiting for attention in the Legislature, M. Smith on what to do with empty school buildings, Ramshaw on what will happen to hospitals if Medicaid managed care is expanded, C. Smith on how the state's budget cuts could affect churches and other faith-based organizations, Philpott's report for the Trib and KUT News on how the tight state budget could affect mental health care, yours truly on why the initial budget proposal isn't really a plan for state spending, Stiles with a searchable database of the latest campaign finance reports, and Galbraith on the rising use of coal and wind to generate electricity in Texas: The best of our best from January 24 to 28, 2011.

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