The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Sept. 27, 2012

Gov. Rick Perry at the 2012 Texas Tribune Festival in on Sept. 21, 2012.
Gov. Rick Perry at the 2012 Texas Tribune Festival in on Sept. 21, 2012.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Perry Downplays Sleep Apnea: "Gov. Rick Perry is downplaying the effects that a previously undiagnosed sleep disorder had on his ill-fated presidential campaign. On Sunday, Perry’s office released a statement to CNN confirming that Perry was diagnosed with the disorder during the presidential race. … But Perry, contradicting his own office, cast doubt on the diagnosis on Thursday. Perry confirmed that he had sleep troubles during his disastrous run for the White House, but in remarks reported by the Houston Chronicle, he blamed pain in his foot that resulted from back surgery in July 2011. 'I slept pretty much all night last night. Best I can tell, I didn’t snore or make any untowards noises,' Perry said. 'My issue was one of a hyper-fusion of that nerve in my foot that kept me awake and we just couldn’t — we looked at a lot of different things.'"

   Powers "Heartened" by Conversation on Tuition Guarantee: "In his State of the University address Wednesday afternoon, University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers said he was 'heartened' by statewide discussion of locking in students' tuition rates for four years, which Gov. Rick Perry called for at The Texas Tribune Festival last week."

•   Faster Speed Limit May Drive Trucks Away From New Texas Toll Road: "The 85 mph speed limit assigned to a new toll road opening in Central Texas is drawing plenty of interest, but it may not draw many truck drivers, according to an official with the Texas Motor Transportation Association."

•   Report Examines How Budget Cuts Affected Texas Schools: "A coalition of nonprofit foundations and the Houston-based advocacy organization Children at Risk has released the initial findings of their comprehensive report on how the 2011 budget cuts have affected public schools."

•   Opposition Forming to Potential Hire of Mexican President at UT-Austin: "Mexican President Felipe Calderón is known for a war on drugs that has left thousands dead. Opponents of Calderón's war are worried his next stop could be a teaching position at the University of Texas at Austin."

•   Whistleblowers Help Texas in Medicaid Fraud Cases: "Private whistleblowers have helped put Texas at the top of the list when it comes to Medicaid fraud settlements with pharmaceutical companies, according to a report released Thursday by Public Citizen."

Culled:

•   TX23: New ad criticizes Canseco’s clean energy record (The Dallas Morning News): "The League of Conservation Voters on Thursday unleashed another blistering ad against San Antonio Rep. Francisco 'Quico' Canseco, R-San Antonio. The ad buy, coming in at $600,000, counters the National Republican Congressional Committee’s $300,000 spot against Democratic challenger Pete Gallego that began airing last week. Previous reports had the LCV’s latest pledge coming in at $418,000, but it was increased by nearly $200,000."

   Austin City Council Backs Same-Sex Marriage (KUT News): "Austin became the first city in Texas today to pass a resolution in support of same sex marriage. The measure passed the City Council unanimously this morning. Before the vote, local civil rights groups declared their support for the resolution, which was sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and co-sponsored by Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Laura Morrison."

•   Yes, Texas is different (The New Yorker): "Texas is different, all right, even if, in some ways, it’s not quite different enough from, say, Iran."

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