State government

 Jacob Villanueva, Elise Hu

Math Anxiety

Will there be enough money to cover the current state budget? "Fortunately, it's too early to tell," jokes House Speaker Joe Straus. He and other state leaders are well aware of the numbers, and although they think it's not yet time to act, they're focused on the big question.

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Into Thin Air

Lobbyists spent a record $15 million on advertising during the 2005 session and another $12 million in 2007 — but less than $1 million this year. What happened?

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 senate media services

Shapleigh Ever After

The longtime El Paso state senator, who said last month that he would not run for reelection, hasn’t revealed his statewide ambitions, but his public and private remarks leave little doubt that he's seriously considering a gubernatorial bid.

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 House photo

2010: Plano Dominoes

Plano City Councilwoman Mabrie Griffith Jackson is telling supporters she will resign that city job as early as Monday to put her name into the race to replace Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, who has decided he won't seek an 11th term next year.

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KBH to TFRW: A change in plans

I must put what's best for my campaign aside and do what is best for Texas. That is why I must stay in the Senate while running for the Republican nomination for governor. I cannot walk away while this fight is being fought by our fellow Republicans. I must stay and fight with them.

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 Bob Daemmrich, Elise Hu

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

KBH resigns herself to staying in the Senate, Grissom investigates the broken border, Ramshaw outs IT contractors who make gigabucks from state agencies, Hu gives Hutchison and Perry the Stump Interrupted treatment, the new head of the Foresenic Science Commission faces his critics, Stiles posts a searchable database of fines levied by the state ethics commission, and Hamilton discovers the consequences of party switching (none): The best of the best from November 9 to 13, 2009.

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Districts prepare to go to court with the TEA over minimum grades policies, prompting the question: How much should schools emulate the real world? And how many second chances should students get?

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 Jacob Villanueva

Hire Power

Typically, Texas Child Protective Services experiences sky-high employee and caseworker vacancy rates, but as unemployment has soared, staffing numbers have blossomed — stabilizing child abuse caseloads. Why the bad economy is good news for one state agency.

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