• Abbott wades into gun control fray with ads aimed at New Yorkers (Austin American-Statesman): "Attorney General Greg Abbott Wednesday launched a Google web ad campaign inviting New Yorkers who feel their gun rights are threatened by a new law just signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to move to Texas where they will have the right to bear arms, and, with lower taxes, more money to buy ammo. The provocative web ads, paid for with Abbott campaign funds, will appear as a pop-up on screens on a variety of media web sites, including that of The New York Times, for those accessing the sites in Manhattan and Albany."
• Congressman Steve Stockman prepares East Texas pastors in D.C. to oppose Obama gun agenda (The Dallas Morning News): "Two weeks before Wednesday’s White House event in which President Obama advocated ideas for tightening gun laws, Republican Congressman Steve Stockman was hosting a group of East Texas pastors in Washington to prepare the opposition."
• Lawmakers here and gone (Houston Chronicle): "The House and Senate adjourned Tuesday and won’t be back until next Wednesday, Jan. 23, in large part to give Democratic lawmakers time to attend President Obama’s inauguration on Monday (which is also Martin Luther King Jr. day). 'Numerous Members have asked for time to attend the inauguration next week, as is usually the case,' said Jason Embry, spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio."
New in The Texas Tribune
• President's Gun Plan Panned, Embraced in Texas: "President Obama's plan, announced Wednesday, to curtail gun violence in the wake of recent mass shootings is drawing both criticism and praise in the gun-loving state of Texas. The president is calling for Congress to implement background checks for all gun purchases and to ban certain assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."
• Dewhurst, Nelson Tout Proposals to Curb Medicaid Costs: "Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Jane Nelson on Wednesday discussed new Senate proposals that target Medicaid spending. The plans would institute quality-based payment reforms for long-term care services and measures to catch fraud and abuse."
• Budget Plans Target Incentives and Testing: "The budget proposals released by lawmakers this week show an interest in revamping school testing and the state's economic incentive programs."
• Report Recommends Changes to Tax Exemption for Fracking: "A Legislative Budget Board report on how government can be more effective has recommended that the state reduce its gas tax exemption for hydraulic fracturing."
• Video: Stockman Blasts Obama on Guns: "On last night's edition of On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren, U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, repeated his calls for the possible impeachment of Barack Obama if the president pushes for gun control legislation — and implied his invoking the Newtown victims was comparable to Saddam Hussein's use of children as human shields."
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