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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Bill filing is under way and Murphy and Swicegood built a tracker for all that legislation. Ramshaw reports on the whether Texas will implement federal health care provisions. Root reports on the conservative trial lawyer who wants to be speaker of the House and E. Smith snags Bryan Hughes for a TribLive interview. M. Smith reports on the laws behind the school finance fight, Grissom on a state prisoner who’s hoping for the acquittal given to her co-defendants, Galbraith on Austin’s dalliance with fossil fuel producers, Batheja on the first volleys over the state’s next budget and Aaronson on the blowback against state Medicaid investigations: The best of our best from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, 2012.

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Bill filing for the 83rd legislative session kicked off on Monday, and lawmakers filed more than 250 bills on the first day alone. The Tribune has retooled last session's bill tracker and put it to work, pulling in all the legislation that has been filed so far for 2013.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents is considering the construction of a new office building in downtown Austin that is projected to cost $102,417,000.

Ahead of the deadline to decide, Gov. Rick Perry’s office reaffirmed that Texas will not implement a major tenet of federal health reform — a state-based online marketplace for consumers to purchase coverage.

The election last week showed many in the GOP that it may need to fine tune its message on immigration. The tight race between President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney motivated Latino voters — largely for Obama — and caused some immigrants to fear what a Romney administration could mean for their future.

Some critics of House Speaker Joe Straus say he’s too moderate to run the Texas House. But state Rep. Bryan Hughes, the man some hope will unseat Straus, has worked as a trial lawyer, a profession not associated with conservative causes.

And here is the full video of our TribLive conversation with Hughes, R-Mineola.

Since 1984, Texas has faced six lawsuits over public school funding. Over the years, a chorus of conservative voices has posed another fix for the school finance problem: Why not just change the state's duties under the state Constitution?

Megan Winfrey has watched as her father and brother were released from jail because the dog-scent evidence used in the murder case against the three was deemed unreliable. But she remains in prison, awaiting a ruling on her plea for acquittal.

Despite its “Keep Austin Weird” slogan and passion for clean energy, Austin is increasingly attracting oil and gas companies, thanks to its entrepreneurial bent and reputation as a fun place to live.

State leaders, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, on Thursday voted to cap the state’s spending growth rate at 10.71 percent for the next-two year budget.

Leaders in the state’s construction industry say changing Texas law to crack down on employers who knowingly misclassify unauthorized workers could spur national immigration reform.

Medical providers are speaking out against the state's Medicaid fraud investigations, saying the investigations are crippling innocent businesses and impacting patient care. Investigators say they only target providers when there's credible evidence.

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