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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aaronson on pork choppers, Aguilar on sanctuary cities legislation, Galbraith on Brownsville's ban on plastic bags, Grissom on Delma Banks and prosecutorial misconduct, Hamilton on a tough week for higher education in Texas, Philpott on wildfires and politics, Ramshaw on the state's pursuit of a federal Medicaid overhaul, M. Smith on what would happen if lawmakers don't rewrite school finance formulas, yours truly on the Lege as schoolyard and Stiles with interactive graphics on how the proposed Senate redistricting maps compare with current ones: The best of our best content from May 9 to 13, 2011.

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When state Rep. Sid Miller introduced a bill last legislative session to allow licensed hunters to shoot feral hogs from helicopters, Texas lawmakers jokingly passed out “pork chopper” buttons. They're not laughing anymore.

In a last-ditch effort to alter one of their most despised bills of the session, House Democrats tried — and failed — to adopt several amendments to the “sanctuary cities” bill first passed by the House late Monday.

At stores in Brownsville, customers must pay $1 for plastic bags — so many bring their own, or go without. The policy, which also restricts paper bags, has removed hundreds of thousands of bags daily — but not without controversy.

In a Texarkana courtroom Monday, Delma Banks Jr. faced again the district attorney's office that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled committed misconduct when it successfully fought to send him to death row in 1980 for the shooting death of 16-year-old Richard Whitehead.

At the end of a turbulent week in Texas higher education, the circumstances of the chancellors of the state’s two largest university systems stood in stark contrast.

Gov. Rick Perry unsuccessfully tried to get a meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the federal government's denial of a wildfire disaster declaration in Texas, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Across the nation, U.S. House Republicans are getting an earful from their constituents about a GOP budget proposal to overhaul federal Medicare. But that message hasn’t made its way to Texas, where state lawmakers are still angling to take control of the program. 

Nobody wanted to think about it in January. But as the middle of May approaches, with little more than two weeks left in the 82nd legislative session, a growing chorus of voices is asking: What happens if lawmakers can’t agree on school finance reform?

It turns out you can do a lot of damage with nothing more than a rule book, which is hazardous in a place that often runs like a schoolyard: Conduct trumps content.

State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, unveiled his proposed Senate redistricting maps this week. Use our interactive maps to see the proposed changes and who would be affected.

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Courts Criminal justice Demographics Energy Environment Higher education Immigration Public education State government Death penalty Medicaid Redistricting Sanctuary cities State agencies Texas Legislature