The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for March 4, 2011

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Grass-roots efforts are popping up throughout the state as school superintendents lay out plans for major budget cuts. For many, it will mean fewer teachers, larger class sizes and fewer academic offerings. For some, it also means closing schools." — Texas school districts, parents mobilizing to tackle funding cuts, The Dallas Morning News
  • "The Texas Supreme Court today ordered the state comptroller’s office to pay $4.2 million to five wrongfully convicted Texans who spent, in total, 90 years in prison for crimes they did not commit." — Court orders Texas to pay exonerated prisoners, Austin American-Statesman
  • "Licensed gun toters in Texas already get a fast pass into the state Capitol. Now state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, wants people willing to undergo background checks to get the same access." — Lawmaker wants new pass for Capitol access, The Associated Press

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Urban luxuries — say, running water — aren’t guaranteed everywhere in Texas. The state Department of Rural Affairs helps rural Texans get these basic amenities (and to also prepare for disasters), but the agency is on Gov. Rick Perry's chopping block. Will it matter if the Dept. of Agriculture absorbs its duties?" — Interactive: Mapping How Rural Development Dollars Are Spent
  • "A judge has ruled the state may continue its legal challenge against the pharmaceutical company Janssen over allegations it offered officials kickbacks to get a schizophrenia medicine on a preferred drug list." — Judge: Big Pharma Lawsuit May Proceed

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.