The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Jan. 28, 2013

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Texans Voice Praise, Concerns Over Immigration Plan: "An immigration reform plan unveiled Monday by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators was greeted with mixed reviews by Texas lawmakers and stakeholders, with some groups hailing the effort as a positive leap forward and others chiding the plan’s emphasis on border security."

•    Report: State Should Put Politics Aside, Expand Medicaid: "Texas' Republican leadership is adamant that Texas will not expand Medicaid, a major tenet of federal health reform. A report by the state's former deputy comptroller and former chief revenue estimator suggests that would be short-sighted."

•    State Audit Exposes More Problems at Cancer Institute: "A state audit has revealed that transparency problems at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas extend beyond the improper review of an $11 million commercialization grant that sparked criminal and civil investigations."

•    Gay Parents Want Birth Certificate Rule Changed: "Under Texas law, same-sex parents cannot both appear on an adoptive child's supplemental birth certificate. A bill authored by Rep. Rafael Anchia would change that, but opponents argue the proposal is an 'attack on mothers and fathers.'"

•    Some Public Business Remains in the Shadows: "Politicians love transparency right now — or love to talk about it. But some of their efforts to open their own records to voters aren't clear, and some that are clear aren't timely. Some public records — including some with a direct bearing on how lawmakers vote and conduct their official duties — just aren't readily available to the public."

Culled

•    Straus stays 'serious' on roads, water and education (Houston Chronicle): "Speaker of the House Joe Straus laid out his agenda – roads, water and education – for the 83rd Legislative session Monday as he addressed a group of broadcasters in downtown Austin. Straus stuck to the 'serious' issues he has said are facing the state, sticking to infrastructure needs and leaving out other issues some lawmakers have jumped on recently, including gun regulations."

•    Straus praises U.S. senators’ progress on immigration reform (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas House Speaker Joe Straus welcomes efforts by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators to forge a pact on sweeping changes to federal immigration law, and says he’s 'hearing a lot less divisive discussions' of the topic in the Texas Legislature."

•    Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders (NBC News): "The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions."

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