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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Feb. 17, 2011

Your afternoon reading: census data trickles in; Cornyn-led committee wants dirt on Napolitano; abortion sonogram debate continues in the Senate

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "Hispanics account for two-thirds of Texas' growth over the past decade and now make up 38 percent of the state's total population, new U.S. Census figures show." — Census data shows huge Hispanic growth in Texas, The Associated Press
  • "Data that will help determine who represents Travis County in the Texas House over the next decade is expected to arrive at the Capitol today. State officials expect to receive county-by-county Census Bureau numbers, which they will fuse with election data from the past decade to give lawmakers the data they need to start drawing new legislative and congressional boundaries to be used in the 2012 elections." — Census data will shake up local House districts, Austin American-Statesman
  • "Sen. John Cornyn has long been an advocate of the public's right to access government records. As Texas Attorney General, Cornyn took open records violators to court and created an open records hotline. During his first term as Senator, he co-sponsored legislation to expand the Freedom of Information Act. So it's only fitting that the champion of open government would use the right to access public documents to dig up dirt on potential Democratic candidates." — Republicans ask for public records as Napolitano eyes Senate run, Trail Blazers
  • "In his final moments, colleagues said, U.S. federal agent Jaime Zapata struggled to fight off his Mexican killers as they attempted to yank him from the armored embassy Suburban he was driving." — Details of deadly assault on ICE agents emerge, Houston Chronicle

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "The controversial abortion sonogram bill could soon come up for a vote in the Senate — if Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, can get the two-thirds vote needed to bring it to the floor. He's attempting that right now — and we're liveblogging it. The bill presents a mathematical conundrum, because lawmakers aren't simply split along party lines: A couple of anti-abortion Democrats support it, and a couple of Republicans oppose it on civil liberties grounds. The vote in the Senate is key to this legislation, because the overwhelming Republican majority in the House makes it likely to breeze through that chamber." — Liveblog: Abortion Sonogram In The Senate
  • The 2010 Official State Musician of Texas sat down with the Tribune to talk about Gov. Rick Perry's proposal to suspend funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts and what it could mean for the state's students. — Sara Hickman: The TT Interview

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