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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The best of our best content from Jan. 26-30, 2015.

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Freshman state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, was not in Austin on Thursday to celebrate Texas Muslim Capitol Day. But she left instructions for the staff in her Capitol office on how to handle visitors who are, including asking them to declare allegiance to the United States.

After pounding immigration issues hard during their campaigns, Republicans including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are on the hook to kill in-state tuition for undocumented students. Its survival may come down to the business lobby, and wily House Democrats.

Nearly two weeks after the House's base budget was released, Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson presented the Senate's plan, which she said sets aside $3 billion for "meaningful" property tax relief for Texas homeowners.

Monopolies are bad for consumers, both sides fighting over whether Tesla Motors should be allowed to sell its cars directly to Texans agreed Wednesday. But monopoly is in the eye of the beholder.

The state’s university systems bear the brunt of the costs of educating Texas veterans for free through the Hazlewood Act. And the well-regarded program has grown exponentially in recent years. Funding the program is poised to be an issue this session.

Lawmakers will consider ways to improve the state’s preparedness for public health emergencies. Dallas County officials identified shortfalls in the system last fall when the country's Ebola case was diagnosed. 

State leaders are focused on cutting property taxes this legislative session. But the talk in some smaller Texas counties is centered on making the property appraisal process more uniform. This is part seven of our eight-video State of Mind series.

Ensuring that Texas kids get the best education tops Gov. Greg Abbott's list of priorities this session. He says a top-notch education starts with quality pre-K, which could get added state funding. 

While a judge Tuesday refused to throw out the indictments against former Gov. Rick Perry, his ruling pointed out some significant problems with the legal underpinnings of the case. Prosecutors are being given a chance to shore up their arguments. And Perry's attorneys have filed a new request to dismiss the indictment.

On a campaign swing through central Iowa, former Gov. Rick Perry on Monday presented himself to Jewish voters as a man of the world — one who toured Israel and Auschwitz as governor and remains friendly with foreign leaders. 

Rand Paul will add Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri as an adviser, the senator's team confirmed Thursday.

The session has barely begun, and the prospect of a new law allowing Texans to openly carry handguns first appeared to be inevitable, then dead, then alive again. Oddly, it's the idea's supporters who keep scrambling its political fate. 

After state Rep. Poncho Nevárez kicked gun advocates out of his Capitol office, he received death threats. On Wednesday, Texas House members wore "I'm Poncho" stickers to show support for Nevárez.

New Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was found in 2014 to have violated the Texas Securities Act, will not be prosecuted by the state's office that investigates public corruption, officials said.

Full video of our conversation with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who talked about the change in Senate rules, vouchers, tax relief, transportation funding, open carry and more.

Two years ago, the drought prompted a rare outbreak of teamwork as lawmakers from both parties and most corners of Texas together crafted a $2 billion fund to provide more water. This session, though, it looks like we're going back to good old-fashioned water rivalries. 

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