TWIA Deal Ready for Final Vote

State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaking to the Senate after being appointed chairman of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on June 27, 2011.
State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaking to the Senate after being appointed chairman of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on June 27, 2011.

State legislators say they've reached a compromise on reform of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, potentially averting a second special session this summer.

The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for June 27, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures as he speaks at the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 regarding property tax evaluations of aircraft at the Boeing facility in San Antonio on June 23, 2011.
Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures as he speaks at the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 regarding property tax evaluations of aircraft at the Boeing facility in San Antonio on June 23, 2011.

Your afternoon reading: Sanctuary cities bill isn't dead; UT System and former adviser Rick O'Donnell reach settlement; House passes health reform bill; George Will says Rick Perry is a "potentially potent candidate"; debating how much credit Perry deserves for jobs creation; TSA removes 95-year-old woman's diaper

Updated: Sanctuary Cities Bill Clinging to Life

Protesters with signs and American flags line the hallway outside the Senate chamber on sanctuary cities bill HB12 on May 25, 2011.
Protesters with signs and American flags line the hallway outside the Senate chamber on sanctuary cities bill HB12 on May 25, 2011.

State Rep. Burt Solomons says at least one version of the contentious sanctuary cities bill will advance out of committee today, despite the morning cancellation of a House State Affairs meeting.

The Brief: Top Texas News for June 27, 2011

The Texas House adjourned until Friday morning after meeting for about a half-hour on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.
The Texas House adjourned until Friday morning after meeting for about a half-hour on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Will they or won't they? That's the question lawmakers, who seem to have met for a matter of minutes in the waning days of the special legislative session, face today on a series of controversial measures Gov. Rick Perry added to the call.

Video: Perry Prez Buzz Shifts to Bachmann, Romney

Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures as he speaks at the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 regarding property tax evaluations of aircraft at the Boeing facility in San Antonio on June 23, 2011.
Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures as he speaks at the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 regarding property tax evaluations of aircraft at the Boeing facility in San Antonio on June 23, 2011.

Once again, Gov. Rick Perry's name made the rounds on the Sunday news programs. But this week, his star was largely overshadowed by fellow GOP contenders who've declared their candidacy. 

Groups Positioning For Prolonged Higher Ed Debate

Natalie Butler (upper left) is the student body president at University of Texas at Austin and a member of the executive committee of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. Christopher Covo (lower left) is the director of America's Next Impact, a project of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.
Natalie Butler (upper left) is the student body president at University of Texas at Austin and a member of the executive committee of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. Christopher Covo (lower left) is the director of America's Next Impact, a project of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.

With multiple third-party organizations cropping up, along with a new Legislature-created oversight committee, expect a protracted debate about how best to tackle the state's higher ed problems. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of June 20, 2011

An Everybody-in-the-Pool effort on what's left to do in the special session, Ramshaw on a doozy of a congressional race shaping up, Aguilar on the debate over sanctuary cities and other immigration proposals, M. Smith on the state's used-up Rainy Day Fund, Grissom on efforts to kick the special interests out of an insurance fight, Dehn and Tan on whether the special session helps or hurts the governor's national ambitions, Galbraith and KUT Radio team up for a series on the long-term outlook for Central Texas water, Aaronson on government attempts to balance openness and privacy with data releases, yours truly on Amazon's run at a sales tax break, and Hamilton on an ethnic gap in higher education: The best of our best from June 20 to 24, 2011.