TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/23/12

Tan and Dehn talk to some of Gov. Rick Perry's allies about his return to Texas, Aaronson maps (interactively!) the insured and the uninsured among us, E. Smith's TribLive interview with state Rep. David Simpson on Perry's race and TSA pat-downs, M. Smith on a Texas school so broke it's shutting down sports, Whitney on a split in the legal community over divorce forms, KUT's Philpott on abuse in state hospitals, Ramshaw reports on the governor's decision not to repay taxpayers for protection during his presidential campaign and Aguilar on the state's attempts to put its voter ID law in force: The best of our best content from January 23-27, 2012.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

A new poll shows Gov. Rick Perry's approval numbers in Texas are tanking after his failed run for the presidency. But Perry's defenders are quick to warn his political enemies that he remains a powerful figure.

There were 5.7 million Texans — nearly a quarter of the population — who lacked health insurance in 2010, according to the latest American Community Survey data. This visualization shows you who the uninsured are in Texas. It's not always who you'd expect.

At this week's TribLive conversation, state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, discussed his opposition to Perry's presidential bid and his dissatisfaction with the GOP frontrunners, and talked about TSA pat-downs.

In a daring and rare move in a state where the football field is hallowed turf, a superintendent has suspended all athletics to help his South Texas district improve its struggling finances.

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Despite the State Bar of Texas' suggestion to hold off on creating simple divorce forms, the Texas Supreme Court has decided not to halt the work of task force charged with creating forms that improve access to the courts for the poor.

The revelation last year that the Texas state hospital system employed three doctors with a documented history of inappropriate behavior has lawmakers again investigating alleged abuse within the system.

Perry won't refund taxpayers for the Department of Public Safety security detail that followed him on the presidential campaign trail — no matter how many letters Texas Democrats send him.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has made the next move in the state's face-0ff with the federal government over the state's voter ID law, which the Justice Department is reviewing. Abbott is suing to have the law implemented without further delay.

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