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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The best of our best content from April 6 to April 10, 2015.

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Despite improvements in pockets of northern Mexico after years of bloodshed, instability still reigns in areas of Chihuahua state that continues driving people north to seek safe haven. What determines whether a person lives or dies near this part of the Rio Grande could be as simple as geography.

Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said she expected the Senate version of the budget to be debated by the full Senate next week, “probably Tuesday.”

House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, laid out a $4.9 billion tax cut plan featuring cuts in sales taxes and business taxes. The Senate's plan cuts business taxes and property taxes.

The Senate passed a bill that would tighten the state's constitutional spending cap and make it tougher for future legislatures to break it. Senate Bill 9, by Sen. Kelly Hancock, passed with a vote of 19-12.

The Texas Senate has preliminarily passed a bill that would move the state’s public integrity unit from the Travis County district attorney’s office to the Texas Rangers.

State Rep. Borris Miles threatened to "beat up" a plainclothes DPS trooper while the lawman was guarding Attorney General Ken Paxton during a meeting at an Austin steakhouse, according to a report obtained by the Tribune.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is readying his presidential campaign — and his political play for the Lone Star State.

For nearly two decades, the state of Texas has been trying to shut down Isis Brantley's hair braiding business. Prodded by a federal court, state lawmakers are now considering exempting hair braiders from regulation and leaving Brantley alone.

State politicians have made beating up on federal intrusion a cottage industry, but haven't hesitated to tell local governments what to do. On Thursday, local government representatives pushed back. 

State Rep. Ron Reynolds made his case on Thursday for requiring cops in Texas to wear body cameras, citing the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in South Carolina. But police advocates were skeptical.

Full video of our conversation with state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, the chairman of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee.

Full video of our conversation with state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and state Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso — the chairmen, respectively, of the Senate and House Transportation Committees.

Most Texas school districts would see increased funding under proposed changes to the state's public education funding system, House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, said Tuesday.

Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis has asked the Texas Rangers to look into Attorney General Ken Paxton's violation of state securities law, Willis' office said Thursday.

Two reports have criticized Health Commissioner Kyle Janek’s leadership. Three state lawmakers have called for his resignation. And a contract awarded to a vendor on his watch is under investigation. What's a new governor to do? 

The University of Texas System Board of Regents will allow member Wallace Hall to see some data and documents compiled during an outside investigation into outside influence on UT-Austin admissions. 

In the Roundup: The Legislature took steps on key issues this week, including tax cuts, improving the quality of pre-kindergarten programs and repealing in-state college tuition rates for some undocumented immigrants.

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