State government

Tom Leppert: The TT Interview

The Dallas mayor left a hugely successful private sector career to lead the country’s ninth-largest city through an economic meltdown and the aftermath of a City Hall corruption scandal. And he doesn’t regret a minute of it. Here, he talks about fighting a sky-high crime rate, how he keeps party politics from his office, and every urban area's Achilles' heel: education.

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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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This Might Hurt: A Dose of Politics

Immunization advocates want to expand our vaccination database, but the well-educated, middle-class parents who oppose them are organized and driven — and could force lawmakers to take sides in the tussle between personal freedom and public health.

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TribBlog: Terri Hodge's Farewell Letter

On the same day she publicly announced that she would drop her reelection bid and plead guilty in federal court to making false statements on an income tax return, State Rep. Terri Hodge, D-Dallas, wrote a letter to her House colleagues to say good-bye and apologize.

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This Might Hurt

Advocates for vaccination records say a complete registry of shots would help the state navigate major health crises. Opponents say it would jeopardize patient privacy. Lawmakers like the potential cost savings, but they still aren’t sure where they stand.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Thevenot on the abysmally low community college graduation rate and higher ed's coming budgetary winter. Ramshaw on Terri Hodge's guilty plea and hasty exit. Grissom on the Department of Public Safety's use of dreaded federal stimulus funds to plug a hole in the state's border security budget. Hu on the first of the intraparty face-offs in our Primary Color series. Ramsey and Stiles on the congressional candidates with the most money on hand. Ramsey on whether Farouk Shami's accent and name are an obstacle to his election. Aguilar on the fever-tick epidemic overwhelming South Texas. Rapoport on TxDOT's hard road and the State Board of Education's lack of finance expertise. Philpott on how Barack Obama's budget will impact Texas. M. Smith on whether lawyers giving to judges is a good thing. Hamilton on the latest transportation innovations on the drawing board. The best of our best from February 1 to 5, 2010.

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