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The Brief: July 14, 2010

Don't look now, but things just got substantive in the governor's race.

BIll White, Rick Perry at their Primary 2010 reception speeches.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Don't look now, but things just got substantive in the governor's race.

Yes, in a summer during which increasingly personal attacks have written the narrative in the fight between Gov. Rick Perry and Bill White, policy dominated the conversation for a second on Tuesday.

And not just any policy — education policy, which Perry spiced up a bit Tuesday with music to Republican ears: tax breaks.

Speaking in El Paso, Perry announced a plan to combat the state's dropout rate by offering $1,500 tax credits to businesses that allow employees two hours off per week to work toward earning a high school dipoma or GED. "This is a tool to tackle a very stubborn and multi-faceted issue — this issue of dropouts," Perry said.

Perry was joined at the announcement by Education Commissioner Robert Scott, whose involvement in recent controversy involving a state agency's evaluation of public schools helped pull the issue of education into the spotlight this week.

Perry's proposal came a day after White again outlined his five-point proposal to combat the dropout rate and expand early childhood education.

Yep, that's two fleshed-out policy proposals making headlines.

But don't expect the substance to last — campaign finance reports are due Thursday, and with news surfacing that a state technology fund ran out of money with Perry's knowledge, expect the horses back in the race before the end of the day.

CULLED:

  • Texas has topped CNBC's list of the best states for business. Gov. Rick Perry's campaign was quick to trumpet the ranking: "This designation reinforces the fact that the Lone Star State is the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulations and skilled workforce," he said in a statement.

“While the rest of the country is calling this the ‘Great Recession,’ we’re calling it the ‘recession that’s making us great.’” — El Paso Mayor John Cook on the economic effects of Mexicans fleeing Juárez for El Paso

MUST-READ:

Coppell mayor, daughter found deadThe Dallas Morning News

More vets may get treatment for PTSDAustin American-Statesman

Tragedy in Juárez Spurs Economy in El Paso — The Texas Tribune

Obama plans to again speak to children as school beginsFort Worth Star-Telegram

Senate bill rejects Obama's JSC plansHouston Chronicle

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