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The Brief: May 17, 2010

Thomas Jefferson isn't safe yet.

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THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Thomas Jefferson isn't safe yet.

The May meeting of everyone’s favorite state board is set for Tuesday through Friday of this week. An e-mail from outgoing State Board of Education member Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, reveals he’s up to his old tricks — and assures the meeting won’t fail to make headlines. (So far, more than 170 members of the public have signed up to speak during the public comments period.) McLeroy said he intends to propose at least nine amendments to curriculum challenging the separation of church and state, entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, landmark desegregation cases and, of course, presenting U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy in a more positive light. Check out a full list of amendments here.

Look for the board to address a few other topics, too. Like whether or not to approve a $1.4 billion expense that includes new science textbooks and other instructional materials in light of next year’s $15 to 18 billion budget shortfall.

And here’s a review of just how the current state of affairs came about: “The seven conservatives now on the 15-member State Board of Education do not constitute a majority. But they rarely lose because they consistently stick together.”

CULLED:

· She’s back! Colleagues report U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has dropped the low profile she adopted after the Republican primary and is acting more like the senator they knew before, speaking up on favorite issues like NASA and financial regulations. "If we had lost her voice, we would've been at a severe disadvantage," said U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville.

· At long last, Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, and Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, will get their chance to debate the Arizona immigration law and whether Texas should adopt a similar piece of legislation. After Martinez Fischer took issue with Riddle’s remark that minorities would be soft on such a bill because they were used to entitlements, the pair were booked to spar on CNN. That got canceled. Now tune into KRLD’s Scott Braddock Show at 3:30 p.m. to hear it.

· Hankering for an interim committee hearing? There are two to chose from at the Capitol this morning: the joint meeting between the Business and Industry and the Technology, Economic Development and Workforce committees on the unemployment compensation fund and the Public Health hearing on the baby blood spots controversy.

"I'm going to look at every revenue enhancer that can get. And I think Texans — if you go across the border into Oklahoma and Louisiana — you're going to see Texas cars. And we need to grab that money." — State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, at a House Appropriations Committee meeting last week

MUST READ:

BP Reports Some Success in Capturing Leaking OilThe New York Times

State may have lost clout in D.C., but 10 Texans still have plentyHouston Chronicle

Cornyn, Watkins increase sparring over U.S. attorney nominationHouston Chronicle

Census takers hit streets to ensure Texas gets its dueThe Dallas Morning News

Neener-Neener — The Texas Tribune

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