New in The Texas Tribune
• House Approves Abortion Restrictions: "The House voted 96-49 on Wednesday to give final approval to proposed abortion regulations in Texas. House Bill 2, which would ban abortion at 20 weeks and enact some of the strictest regulations in the country on abortion providers and facilities, now heads to the Senate."
• Abbott Adds $4.78 Million to War Chest: "Attorney General Greg Abbott's campaign is reporting it raised $4.78 million in the last two weeks of June, an amount his representatives are calling a record haul."
• Dewhurst Confident of Abortion Bill Vote: "On the eve of an expected vote on controversial abortion restriction legislation, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he is confident the legislation will make it to the governor’s desk for signature during the current 30-day special session. 'I’m excited about this opportunity and want to get this bill passed,' Dewhurst said Wednesday during the Laura Ingraham Show. 'We had a last-minute filibuster two weeks ago. We’re not in the filibuster range right now, and we’re going to pass this bill.'"
• Lawmakers Piecing Together Transportation Funding Bill: "State representatives are piecing together a transportation funding bill that incorporates elements of several different proposals, but that plan differs from the version offered by Republican state Sens. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville and Tommy Williams of The Woodlands."
• Feds: Texas Hispanics May Not Hear Health Reform Message: "Texans, and in particular the state’s Hispanic population, might remain in the dark on the benefits of the new federal health care law because outreach efforts are largely focusing on the 24 states participating in the Medicaid expansion and state-based insurance exchanges, officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Monday."
• Old Ties Severed as New University Unfolds: "The UT System Board of Regents will meet Wednesday to vote on a nearly $50 million agreement with Texas Southmost College that will help it secure land for a new regional university in South Texas."
• George W. Bush calls once again for 'positive resolution' to the immigration debate (The Dallas Morning News): "Former President George W. Bush reiterated on Wednesday his hope for a 'positive resolution' to the immigration debate, saying once again that the country’s 'immigrant heritage has enriched America’s history' and 'continues to shape our society.'
• Immigration reform 2013: GOP leaders say House must act (Politico): "Top House Republicans might not have a plan yet for immigration reform, but they have a message: doing nothing isn’t an option. In more than an hour of presentations and comments in a Capitol basement room, leaders ranging from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the chamber cannot sit idly by and allow the rest of Washington to strive to fix the immigration system, while House Republicans sit on their hands."
• Filibuster nets Davis big campaign donation (Houston Chronicle): "Annie’s List announced it has contributed $50,000 to the campaign of Sen. Wendy Davis, who hit the national spotlight and heated up the state’s debate over abortion regulations with an 11-hour filibuster. A spokesperson with the senator’s office was not immediately available to discuss if this is the largest donation Davis has received, or how much has been contributed since her success delaying the abortion proposal. The picture should be clearer next week when new campaign finance reports are due."
• Branch says he has $4 million for attorney general’s race (The Dallas Morning News): "Attorney general hopeful Dan Branch said Wednesday he’s reporting a campaign cash balance of just over $4 million, which will probably make him the fundraising leader as the GOP field takes shape to succeed Greg Abbott as the state’s top lawyer."
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