The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Sept. 9, 2013

New in The Texas Tribune

•    No NCLB Waiver for Texas on Testing for Younger Students: "A state request to waive No Child Left Behind testing requirements for students in elementary and middle school has been denied by the federal government, thwarting a state effort to end some tests for high-performing students."

•    Wayne Christian Joins Crowded Railroad Commission Race: "Former State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, says he will run for the Railroad Commission, joining a crowded field."

•    In New Web Video, Dewhurst "Standing Tall" for Texas: "In a new campaign web video released Monday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tells voters that 'you can't have opportunity without freedom' and urges them to 'stand tall' with him against Washington encroachment on Texas values."

•    Democratic Lawmakers Ask Texas Military Forces to Process Same-Sex Benefits: "Sixteen Democratic state lawmakers have called on the Texas Military Forces to process veteran benefits claims for same-sex spouses while it awaits an opinion from Attorney General Greg Abbott."

•    New Laws Aim to Level the Playing Field for Texas Distillers: "As Texas starts to implement new laws that make it easier for distillers to make and sell their products, Gov. Rick Perry on Monday declared September 'Texas Craft Spirits Month.'"

•    Speaker's Original Band of 11 Shrinks to a Quartet: "Joe Straus became speaker of the Texas House in 2009 with the help of a relatively small group of Republicans who rebelled against a sitting speaker. Less than five years later, only four of them are left."

Culled

•    Texas Attorney General candidate Dan Branch touts support from Ted Cruz advisers (The Dallas Morning News): "Rep. Dan Branch on Monday said he has the support of 10 legal advisers to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Branch, R-Dallas, hopes the lawyers associated with Cruz will help him in his race for Texas attorney general. Branch is running in the March Republican primary against state Sen. Ken Paxton of McKinney and Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman."

•    Campbell no wallflower (San Antonio Express-News): "The longstanding advice for freshman senators in the Texas Legislature is the same given to nervous teens entering their first year of high school: you are to be seen, not heard. No one told state Sen. Donna Campbell, who served her first term as an elected official this session, or she didn't listen. First-year senators are typically expected to pay their dues, step aside for senior members, and slowly build their legislative power in the Senate, where seniority rules. Instead, Campbell, a tea party favorite and self-proclaimed 'citizen legislator,' made a splash and ended the session with both Republicans and Democrats targeting her."

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