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The Midday Brief: May 11, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

Joe Straus, Speaker, Texas House of Representatives

Your afternoon reading:

• “The Legislative Budget Board, which has been very conservative in publicly discussing the size of the shortfall, acknowledged that a budget gap of $15 billion to $18 billion is ‘reasonable’ for the 2012-13 budget. The previous LBB estimate had been $11 billion.” — UPDATED: Straus calls for “no new taxes budget” — Postcards

• “Heleman said shoppers haven't flocked back to furniture and building materials stores, though sales tax receipts from two sectors that led a 2006-2007 Texas economic boom -- construction and oil and gas – ‘are stabilizing.’” — Retail uptick: Clothes, electronics sales up sharply — Trail Blazers

• “But while the merits of Mayor Annise Parker's quest for Wilson's ouster were understandable, her political motivations and strategy involving the Metro issue have proven more difficult to decipher.” — Parker continues to bash Metro, but to what end? — Houston Chronicle

• "Today, the wheels of injustice in the Tim Cole case come grinding to a screeching halt, a family member said." — Defendants in Tim Cole case file motion to dismiss civil action — Fort Worth Star-Telegram

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “For years, Texas universities have focused on getting more students onto to their campuses. The hard part, it turns out, is getting them to leave in no more than six years. Of the 32 state universities tracked by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, only five have self-reported graduation rates above 50 percent.” — The Graduation Gap

• “Gov. Rick Perry today released his updated homeland security plan. The Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2010-2015 is the latest outline of the state's plans to deal with all kinds of threats, ranging from natural disasters to terrorist attacks and border security.” — TribBlog: Perry Releases Updated Security Plan

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