The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Aug. 5, 2013

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, at an abortion rights rally on July 9, 2013.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, at an abortion rights rally on July 9, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Davis Says She'll Run for Re-election or for Governor: "State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, said Monday that she will either run for re-election or for Texas governor, and that she's working hard to make her decision. Speaking at a National Press Club luncheon, Davis said those were the only two options, and that she's not considering joining the lieutenant governor's race. She did not indicate when she'll make up her mind."

•   Nine Constitutional Amendments to Be on November Ballot: "When Texans cast ballots for the Nov. 5 election, they will consider nine proposed constitutional amendments. And after a lottery was conducted Monday, the order in which the amendments will appear on those ballots is now in place."

•    Obscure Agency Could Gain Power With Water Measure: "The persistence of drought conditions across Texas brought extra attention on the once-obscure Texas Water Development Board this legislative session, as lawmakers approved a major overhaul of the agency's leadership."

•   Council to Study Extended Learning Programs: "Education Commissioner Michael Williams is expected to make appointments to the council by Dec. 3, and the council is required to submit a report to the Legislature by November 2014."

•   What Would Happen if Voting Were Easier?: "What if voting qualified you for a prize? Somebody had the idea — quickly squelched by the adults in state government — to create a special lottery prize that would be attainable only by voters. Just think: the warm feeling of participating in civics along with the chance to win millions."

•    Patrick Ad Goes Fishing for Primary Votes: "State Sen. Dan Patrick builds his recently-released campaign ad on a rhetorical call for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to more aggressively pursue a conservative agenda in the latest special session."

Culled

   Dukes reported seriously injured in car crash (Austin American-Statesman): "State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, was seriously injured last Thursday in an Interstate 35 car crash that left her vehicle totalled by a tractor-trailer rig, the Texas House was told Monday afternoon."

•    Poop-gate Update: DPS Says it Will Release Information (The Texas Observer): "In a letter to the AG today, DPS said it was 'withdrawing its request for a ruling' and 'will release records' requested by the Observer and other media—a highly unusual move for a major agency. In a letter, DPS said it would contact me 'about releasing the information' by August 23."

•    STAAR tests released to public (Austin American-Statesman): "Long-awaited test questions from the state-mandated exams have been posted online for public review."

•    Guns on campus question not on lawmakers' agenda (San Antonio Express-News): "Gov. Rick Perry is a pistol-packing Texan who has wielded his position as the state's head honcho to help deliver legislative victory after victory for gun rights advocates over the years. That's not been the case during the two full bonus rounds the Legislature has endured since gaveling out of its regular session in late May."

•    After turmoil, Texas cancer agency gets 2nd chance (Associated Press): "What’s left of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas isn’t flashy, but that’s precisely the goal for an agency regaining its footing after a year of turmoil and an ongoing a criminal investigation."

•    Texas historical society survives, but struggles (The Dallas Morning News): "Supporters say the association, which has a $10 million fundraising campaign underway, is struggling financially. But after 116 years, it is still where professional and amateur historians go 'to get the latest and greatest in Texas history,' said Richard B. McCaslin, a UNT history professor and an association member."

•    Review: Ironically, Texas embraces renewable energy in 'The Great Texas Wind Rush' (The Washington Post): "In 'The Great Texas Wind Rush,' Kate Galbraith and Asher Price tell the strange, inspiring and at times funny story of how a culture known for Big Oil came to embrace Big Wind."

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