Your afternoon reading:
- "Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, just asked voter identification sponsor Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, whether there is some reason to believe the Republican super-majority elected in the last election happened because of the lack of voter identification laws." — Getting photo identification could be tough, Democrats say, Texas Politics
- "In this morning’s Texas Senate debate on the GOP-supported voter ID bill, the author, Sen. Troy Fraser, may be setting a record for most repetitive answer to questions from Democrats who oppose the measure." — More questions than answers in voter ID debate, Postcards
- "Democrats sharply questioned Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, author of the bill, about a provision that allows those without a drivers license to obtain a state ID card to vote from the Texas Department of Public Safety at no charge. Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, noted there is only one DPS office in the City of Dallas and no DPS offices within the central core of Houston, inside the 610 loop. Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, noted that some of his constituents in southwest Texas would have to travel up to 200 miles to get to a DPS office to obtain a state ID." — Senate Democrats hammer away at voter ID bill, Trail Blazers
- "There are many things that John Kelso and the state’s other columnists can and should criticize Rick Perry for (that line about spending $41.7 million to get elected governor of a state that’s broke was pretty good, in fact). He’s the longest-serving governor in state history. He deserves the attention of our toughest critics. But his wife does not. And she certainly did not deserve this." — Not funny, BurkaBlog
- "About 650,000 Texans who owe traffic fines that in many cases run into the thousands of dollars would receive a 90 percent break on those debts and get back their suspended driver's licenses under a new amnesty program." — State offering big break on some traffic fines, Austin American-Statesman
New in The Texas Tribune:
- "When Texans turn on lights or plug in iPads, they are getting an increasing amount of power from the wind — and from coal plants. Last year, nearly 8 percent of the power on the state's electric grid was generated by wind, far above the national average. And coal plants produced more power than any other electricity source. The big loser was natural gas." — Why Texas Is Using More Coal, Wind and Less Gas
- "Texas hospital administrators aren't thrilled about the 10 percent Medicaid provider rate cut included in the House's proposed budget, which will set them back an estimated $410 million a year. But what they fear more is the state's proposed expansion of Medicaid managed care, which could eliminate a special exception that hospitals have had for years and force them to forgo a combined $1 billion a year in federal funding — money that public hospitals, in particular, use to sustain themselves." — Texas Hospitals Could Face Cuts in Federal Funds
- "Some of the 1.2 million Texas drivers whose licenses have been suspended because they failed to pay expensive traffic ticket surcharges can catch a big break right now from the Department of Public Safety." — DPS Starts Amnesty Period for Suspended Drivers
- "Hey, Texplainer: Just what is the Rainy Day Fund and why can't lawmakers use it to help close our big budget shortfall?" — What Is Texas's Rainy Day Fund For?
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