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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The Trib staff on the opening of the Texas legislative session, Hu on what actually happened on day one, C. Miller's time-lapse photo essay, M. Smith on public school kids in the criminal justice system, Stiles and Chang interactively map legislative offices, Grissom interviews the chronicler of drug war killings in Juárez, yours truly on security at the Capitol, Galbraith on efforts by industrial plants to duck the battle between state and federal environmental regulators, Ramshaw on 25-year-olds cut out of federally mandated state health insurance, E. Smith's news-making interview with House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts and our guide to some of the people who might — and might not — run for Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat in the U.S. Senate: The best of our best from January 10 to 15, 2011.

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The 82nd Texas Legislature convened in Austin this week, and while it’s not as much fun as the circus — usually — it’s more important and does have its share of comedy and drama. 

We take you to the Texas House on day one of the 82nd Legislative session. Come with us as we go through the new security system, visit with lawmakers and witness the election of the House Speaker.

A time-lapse view of the Texas Legislature's opening day and a photo essay to go along with it.

As the 181 members of the Texas Legislature settle in Austin for the 82nd session, our interactive and printable guide helps find their offices and navigate the maze that is the Texas Capitol. Search by member name, or browse using the floor plan by clicking the tab for each floor in the Capitol and Capitol Extension.

The Texas criminal justice system is increasingly the destination for mischief-makers, some as young as 6, in the state’s public schools, according to a new study, which sheds light on what is a rapidly growing part of school budgets: campus security.

As 2010 drew to a close, the death toll in Juárez surpassed an astonishing 3,100 for the year. Since 2008, New Mexico State University librarian and professor Molly Molloy has been painstakingly keeping a daily tally of each one of the drug war killings that has made the city across the Rio Grande from El Paso one of the most dangerous in the world.

When Andrew Cuomo took office as governor of New York earlier this month, he ordered the removal of the security barricades limiting access to his state’s Capitol. “This Capitol has become a physical metaphor for the isolation and alienation of our people,” he said in his inauguration speech. He could easily have been talking about Texas.

The politics and rhetoric of the Environmental Protection Agency's multi-front battle with Texas make for a grand spectacle. Behind the scenes, however, there are signs that big industrial plants are trying to move past the stalemate on their own, talking with federal regulators and, in some cases, preparing to meet the demands of the agency.

Federal health care reform’s biggest benefit for young adults — a mandate that insurance providers cover dependents until they reach age 26 — won’t apply to thousands of 25-year-old Texans for one simple reason: Their parents work for the state. 

In our TribLive conversation this week, state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, spoke frankly about the certainty that state employees would be cut as part of the Legislature's solution to the budget shortfall — and he said furloughs for employees who aren't cut may be ordered as well.

Kay Bailey Hutchison’s announcement that she won't run again for her U.S. Senate seat wasn't entirely unexpected, but it still has the potential to overturn the state's political apple cart. To separate the would-bes from the could-bes in a 2012 race, we’ve created a guide to certain, likely and plausible candidates — as well a few who are plausible only to us here at the Trib.

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