Economy

Jacob Villanueva

Survey Says...

Texans are more worried about the economy and the direction of the country than anything else, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Other notable findings: Nearly two-thirds support either gay marriage or civil unions, nearly half prefer private health insurance to a government-run plan, and more than a third think the Legislature meets every year.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Hu, Philpott, and Ramsey on the Democratic gubernatorial debate, the pre-game, the post-game, and the highlight reel. Thevenot on the push for accountability in persistently low-performing schools. M. Smith on the Republican assault on sitting Republican appellate judge. Hamilton on a county with more than one Tea Party trying to claim conservative voters. With lawmakers staring down a growing budget crunch, Aguilar looks back at the last one for instruction. Grissom finds that U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped a program to deport illegal immigrants through Presidio. Ramshaw reports on a West Texas nurse who got into and out of criminal trouble for complaining about a doctor she worked with. The second University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll finds Rick Perry and Bill White with big leads in their respective party primaries. Rapoport found herself in the eye of the storm, traveling with Debra Medina on the day the candidate unexpectedly and disastrously made national news when Glenn Beck asked her on his radio shows about the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. The best of our best from February 8 to 12, 2010.

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Jacob Villanueva

From Bust to Boom

The recession has caused a spike in enrollment at two-year schools like Austin Community College, which now educates more than 40,000 students — within striking distance of the great behemoth, the University of Texas at Austin.

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The Last Time Around

How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.

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Jacqueline Mermea

On the Records: Sunrise?

The Texas Ethics Commission and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts are opening up more of their data to the public at no charge.

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Bob Daemmrich

Department of Public Stimulus

The Department of Public Safety, which is struggling financially, is planning to use $16 million of the federal stimulus dollars that Gov. Rick Perry begrudgingly accepted to plug a hole in the border security budget. The decision follows a mandate by Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus that state agencies cut 5 percent out of their budgets to meet an anticipated shortfall.

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Jacqueline Mermea

Burned Orange

A clash over a beloved campus music club at UT-Austin portends the gnashing of teeth at schools statewide as a budgetary winter threatens to envelop higher education.

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Ticked

The worst outbreak of fever-tick infestations in South Texas in four decades has ranchers and animal-health officials scrambling to prevent not just a loss of billions to the state cattle's industry but an outright ban on our cattle.

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Jacob Villanueva

No Experience Necessary

Few members of the State Board of Education have finance expertise. Should we be concerned that they manage the investments of the $23 billion Permanent School Fund?

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TribBlog: Where's the Stimulus?

Texas ranks poorly among the states when it comes to letting taxpayers know how it's using federal stimulus dollars, according to a report released today by several nonprofit public interest groups.

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Their State of the State

Governors across the country have been delivering their state report cards in January — but not in Texas, where the State of the State address is only given during odd-numbered years, when the Legislature is in session. Ben Philpott, reporting on politics for KUT News and the Tribune, asked people from different sectors of the economy to offer their own outlook for Texas in 2010.

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