State government

 Matt Stiles

Mapping the Money Race

To better understand the geography of the money race, we mapped the candidates' contributions by city, using graduated symbols to highlight their most lucrative areas. The bubbles in the maps get larger based on the percentage of a candidates' total take.

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 Jacob Villanueva

Abuse of Power

State employees who commit heinous acts against Texas' most profoundly disabled citizens rarely get charged with crimes, let alone go to jail. A Texas Tribune review of a decade’s worth of abuse and neglect firings at state institutions found that just 16 percent of the most violent or negligent employees were ever charged with crimes.

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 www.rrc.state.tx.us

Riding into Sunset

As the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality prepares for a legislative review next year, one of its ex-commissioners is consulting with environmentalists who are critical of the agency and the Perry administration.

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 Todd Wiseman

2010: Following the Money

In spite of what both campaigns said last month, agriculture commission candidate Hank Gilbert got two-thirds of his money from gubernatorial candidate Farouk Shami. Gilbert reported it to the state; Shami didn't. And both Democrats say the money had nothing to do with Gilbert's decision to get out of Shami's race.

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2010: See Alma Run. For What?

Alma Aguado is running for Governor of Texas and, if Kay Bailey Hutchinson retires, for the U.S. Senate. While she says she would rather be governor, her Facebook page for politicians still reads, “Alma Aguado for U.S. Senate.”

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Guest Column: The 2010 Agenda: Criminal Justice

In response to shrinking budgets, there's a risk that lawmakers might feel compelled to scale back funding for treatment and diversion programming. Instead, it's time for the state to seriously consider closing one or more of the 112 prison units it currently operates.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

A big week, with the State Board of Education working on social studies textbooks — Thevenot was all over that this week, starting with a story that got national attention — and then the first debate between the GOP gubernatorial candidates, a story we tag-teamed with poll analysis, Hu's and Ramsey's live-blogging, Philpott's audio, and video. Our first TribLive event coaxed some news out of House Speaker Joe Straus, and E. Smith also interviewed Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson on beaches, politics, and, um, politics. We featured M. Smith on athletes in politics, Aguilar on the pack of Republicans chasing U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, Rapoport on women in campaigns, and Hamilton on candidates outside the spotlight. The best of our best from January 11 to January 15, 2010.

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 Abby Rapoport

History Lessened

On day three of the State Board of Education's social studies curriculum hearings, targets of the conservatives' ire included Marcus Garvey, Clarence Darrow, and Ted Kennedy.

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TribBlog: Nullification Now

For the disgruntled ultraconservative, nullification may be the new secession. But as one prominent legal scholar puts it, “If you believe in nullification, you don’t believe in the constitution.”

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TribBlog: Snip, Snip

No surprise here, but still: State leaders want state agencies to cut five percent from their current budgets "due to the uncertainty of the state's short-term economic future, as well as potentially substantial long-term costs associated with the passage of federal legislation currently being debated in Washington, D.C."

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 Abby Rapoport

Civil Civics

State Board of Education members played mostly nice with one another Thursday, as they added and subtracted historical figures to the social studies curriculum. In: the first Hispanic Texas Supreme Court justice, Tejanos who died at the Alamo, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Out: "Ma" Ferguson, Henry Cisneros, and Dolores Huerta.

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 Ross Ramsey

TribBlog: SBOE = State Board of Editors

When the State Board of Education finally got to amending the social studies curriculum, members burrowed deeply into the weeds, holding extended debates over the parsing of seemingly innocuous phrases, like "citizens" vs. "good citizens."

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