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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Tan on the budget standoff between the House and Senate, Ramsey on budget cuts that cost us money, Philpott on Hispanics and redistricting, Stiles visualizes speed limits by state, Grissom on a liberal social justice organizer who became a conservative hero, M. Smith on even more student social security numbers at risk, Ramshaw on whether family planning equals abortion, Aguilar on what circumcision has to do with citizenship, Murphy on how much Texas university adminstrators are paid, Hamilton on the latest in the higher ed reform saga and Galbraith on Texas energy lessons from the 1970s: The best of our best content from April 4 to 8, 2011.

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The betting game has already begun on whether the budget battle between a more moderate Senate and a far stingier House will lead to a standoff — and a special session in the summer. The two budget committee chairmen refuse to say whether one body may have more sway than the other in the final outcome.

Cutting the budget can be expensive. Something that appears to save money can, on further inspection, cost more. Family planning, for instance.

Expect just about every redistricting decision made this year to center on the state's rapidly growing Hispanic population. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how the search for Hispanic-majority districts could affect the re-election chances of some lawmakers.

The Texas House has passed a bill allowing Texas Department of Transportation to study whether to increase the speed limit on certain highways to 85 miles per hour. See how the state compares with this interactive map.

Brandon Darby has transformed himself from liberal social justice organizer and radical to much-maligned FBI informant to now right-of-center conservative hero — of a sort. 

The Social Security numbers of 164,406 students who graduated from eight Texas school districts over the past two decades were placed at risk for identity theft, according to Texas Education Agency documents obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Is "family planning" a euphemism for abortion? For many House Republicans, yes. It's not that they don't understand the difference — it's that they don't trust family planning clinics not to steer women toward abortions.

Were you circumcised at birth and was it a part of a religious ceremony? If so, who was there and why? It may sound far-fetched, but some applicants for U.S. passports may soon have to answer such questions.

How much were Texas public university administrators paid in 2009-10? Check out our visualization, using data generously provided by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Much has been made about higher education reformer Rick O'Donnell's opinions on academic research. The controversial UT System adviser recently elaborated on them himself in a letter he wrote to a UT regent.

Unrest in the Middle East, rising oil prices and frustration with federal energy policy — for many Texans, today’s headlines must seem like déjà vu. While the situation is far less severe than the aftermath of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the parallels are unmistakable.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

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