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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Hamilton and M. Smith on the committee shuffle in the Texas Senate, Hamilton on Judith Zaffirini’s reaction, Batheja’s take on what it means for David Dewhurst’s politics, Grissom on Michael Morton’s first anniversary of freedom, Aguilar on House rematches in South Texas and El Paso, Aaronson on a Medicaid change pressuring home health providers, M. Smith on the stresses of teaching, E. Smith interviews Greg Abbott on voter fraud and plans for 2014 and Murphy refreshes our interactive on Texas givers to Super PACs: The best of our best from October 1 to 5, 2012.

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Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed state Sen. Dan Patrick as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He also replaced state Sen. Judith Zaffirini with state Sen. Kel Seliger as chair of the Higher Education Committee.

After losing her role as chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, said she is "not disheartened" and will continue to make higher education a priority.

A year after he was released from prison, Michael Morton says he is still enjoying the small blessings of free life. He's launching a website to aid his efforts to reform Texas laws and make prosecutors more accountable.

After a crushing loss in his bid for U.S. Senate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's influence in next year's legislative session remains a question mark. Thursday's committee assignments may reflect efforts to appease some critics.

State Rep. Dee Margo, R-El Paso, is facing a familiar foe in the 2012 general election. Former state Rep. Joe Moody defeated Margo in 2008 but lost to Margo in 2010.

Democrat Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, who served three terms in the Texas House, is looking to make a return. She's challenging state Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, who switched from the Democratic Party this year.

The abrupt exodus of thousands of South Texas Medicaid patients from one managed care health plan is putting financial strain on home health providers still adjusting to the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care.

Some consequences of the Legislature's more than $5 billion budget cut to public schools — like a loss of morale and stress levels in the classroom — aren't easily measured. But the pressure on teachers may have more complex origins.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, at TribLive, discussed the prevalence of voter impersonation in Texas and defended the legal basis for the contentious voter ID legislation now making its way through the courts. And he answered the question on everyone's mind: Are you running for governor in 2014?

New campaign finance reports filed in September show that Texans are still giving generously to Super PACs. The top givers included Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, who gave $2 million to the pro-GOP American Crossroads, and former Texas Trial Laywers Association President Steve Mostyn and his wife, Amber, who gave $1.5 million to Democrat-supporting groups.

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