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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

M. Smith on a key player in education policy, Ramshaw on an "Obamacare" critic putting his frustrations to music, Aguilar finds that misclassification bills are losing steam, Murphy adds the latest financial statements to our Ethics Explorer, Grissom on Perry's signing of the Michael Morton Act, Aaronson on the fight over end-of-life legislation, Galbraith and Batheja discuss Texas' infrastructure challenges, Root on a bipartisan effort in D.C., and Ramsey leads an ethics discussion and looks at the proposed budget's impact on legislators' pensions. The best of our best content from May 13-17, 2013.

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Raise Your Hand Texas has been a key player this session, impacting bills like Sen. Dan Patrick's charter school legislation. The advocacy organization's influence in policy negotiations has won it both respect and exasperation in education circles.

Houston physician Steve Hotze, a major Republican campaign donor, recently announced that he was suing the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. Now he's singing a similar tune — literally.

Advocacy groups and business owners urged lawmakers to crack down on companies that misclassify their employees for tax and immigration purposes. But in the final days of the session, the measures have run out of steam.

State lawmakers' personal financial statements for the 2012 calendar year were due April 30, but several lawmakers filed for extensions. For the 115 lawmakers who did file, the Tribune has you covered. Use our Ethics Explorer to see what lawmakers disclosed in their most recent filings.

With exoneree Michael Morton by his side, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a measure that aims to prevent wrongful convictions by requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence.

Texas Right to Life is working overtime to defeat a measure supporters say would improve state laws governing end-of-life medical decisions. With time running out, the fight over the legislation has shifted from political to personal

Texas’ drought and water-supply problems have captured headlines. But with the state’s rapid population growth projected to continue, other infrastructure problems also loom, including clogged roads and a strained power grid.

U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady and Pete Gallego are from different political parties, but they are united in trying to bring a little bipartisanship to the Texas delegation. They have scheduled a breakfast next week to discuss ways to forge a common agenda for the state.

Here's full video of Ross Ramsey's May 16 TribLive conversation about ethics in the Texas Legislature with former Assistant Travis County District Attorney Mindy Montford, campaign finance lawyer Randall "Buck" Wood, state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione and former state Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores.

The proposed state budget would increase state judges' base salaries by 12 percent — and would do the same thing to state legislators' pensions. Check out what the benefit adds up to for each lawmaker.

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