TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/8/12

Through a new joint task force, the Texas attorney general’s office and the office of the Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Commission have teamed up to target fraud in the state’s Medicaid dental program.

It has been more than 100 years since Texas and Mexico saw a new railroad line that spans both countries. That streak is set to end this year with the expected completion of the Brownsville West Rail Bypass International Bridge.

A Texas Senate committee heard sometimes emotional testimony Tuesday about smart-meter installations, as opponents of the installation argued that their rights had been violated and the meters carried health risks.

State Rep. Bryan Hughes has become a Tea Party favorite in his effort to oust House Speaker Joe Straus. But the East Texan's profession — he's a trial lawyer — could impact his standing with some conservatives. Hughes says he's proud of his work, though, and he thinks he's got a good chance to be the next speaker.

Despite Gov. Rick Perry's prediction that no such bill would reach his desk, state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, said he intends to continue his effort to end the state's policy of offering in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants.

With less than a month to go before the presidential election, we have updated our interactive map of Texas donors to presidential candidates by ZIP code

Tom DeLay is still in court a decade after engineering a Republican victory that resulted in convictions for conspiracy and money laundering. He might still win, but either way, his party came out ahead.

On the campus of Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat, and her Republican opponent Mark Shelton squared off on education funding, women's health, and of course, ethics.

State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, acknowledges he made errors in how his campaign reimbursed him for the use of his personal vehicle. He says he plans to now keep a log of his miles.

Full video of Evan Smith's TribLive conversation with three Texas House hopefuls: Republicans Stephanie Klick and Chris Paddie and Democrat Justin Rodriguez.

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