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The Midday Brief: March 30, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

Attorney General Greg Abbott

Your afternoon reading:

•“Abbott believes there are four votes on the Court today for the view that Congress has exceeded its power under the commerce clause (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas). As has often been the case in recent years, Kennedy is the swing vote.” — Abbott on the legal case against health care — BurkaBlog

• The report says a lot of what we already know: That the state is failing to process food stamp applications as quickly as required by the federal government. It offers suggestions on improving communication with applicants, better utilizing technology and improving clerical training. — Applying for food stamps isn’t easy, audit says — Postcards

• The survey's production index reached its highest level since March 2008, and other indexes showed significant improvements as well. — Texas factory activity rose in March, Dallas Fed survey showsDallas Morning News

• “Working to close a looming $100 million budget shortfall projected for next year, Mayor Annise Parker has sharply increased the monthly insurance premiums that thousands of retired city of Houston employees must pay, prompting outrage from retirees.” — Parker increases insurance premiums of city retireesHouston Chronicle

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “Texans' lagging response to the U.S. Census questionnaire is getting the attention of the higher-ups at the bureau.” — TribBlog: Census Director 'Concerned' About Texas — The Texas Tribune

• “Even though health care reform has been signed into law, prospects remain dim for legislation that would improve border security, provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and crackdown on unscrupulous employers.” — Remember Immigration? — The Texas Tribune

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