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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Feb. 23, 2011

Your afternoon reading: bill targets double-dipping; Mexican president blasts U.S. diplomats; Democrats take on Farenthold

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "A top Texas Republican leader proposed ethics legislation Tuesday that would require more disclosure of campaign transactions and potential conflicts of interest between lawmakers and lobbyists, taking aim at double-dipping spending practices by lawmakers that have led to a criminal investigation." — Ethics bill takes aim at double-dipping in Texas, The Associated Press
  • "A new Senate committee has been created to push for more transparency and openness in how state government does its business." — Open government committee created, Postcards
  • "As officials from both countries vow to jointly avenge the murder of a U.S. federal agent, Mexican President Felipe Calderón has accused senior American diplomats of damaging the cross-border relationship with criticism of Mexico's public security forces." — Calderón aims fury at U.S. diplomats, Houston Chronicle
  • "From a reputable conservative think tank to a former U.S. Secretary of Education, disapproval of the State Board of Education has been intense in the past few years. While wide-ranging criticism of the SBOE persists, Texas lawmakers are proposing possible solutions — some minimal and others bold — to fix the beleaguered body." — How do you solve a problem like the SBOE?, The Texas Independent

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "At this morning's TribLive conversation about health care, state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, took a more aggressive position than most of his fellow Republicans on the subject of whether to tap the Rainy Day Fund and how much should be tapped." — Zerwas: Use Most of Rainy Day Fund or I'll Get Spanked
  • "Not even two months into his first term, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, is the subject of an ad campaign from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee." — National Democrats Target Blake Farenthold
  • "For higher education issues, it appears that 'productivity' is to this session what 'tier one' was to 2009. House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has filed a trio of bills aimed at getting more bang for each buck invested in higher ed." — House Higher Ed Chairman Looks to Boost "Productivity"
  • "In his biennial State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson urged the Legislature to protect legal aid funding — and renewed his call for the reform of judicial elections." — Chief Justice to Legislature: Remember the Neediest

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