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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for March 15, 2011

Your afternoon reading: tentative deal to tap Rainy Day Fund struck; Perry making robocalls for conservative group; Senate approves "Choose Life" license plates

State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, lays out House Bill 1.

Your afternoon reading:

  • "House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts confirmed Tuesday that House GOP leaders have a tentative deal with Gov. Rick Perry that he will publicly lend his approval to their drawing down $3.2 billion of rainy-day money to finish eliminating the current budget cycle's deficit." — Pitts: Perry, House have tentative deal to spend $3.2 billion of rainy-day $, Trail Blazers
  • "Gov. Rick Perry is making robo calls for Empower Texans — the same group that worked non-stop a few months ago to oust Republican House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio." — Perry making robo calls to pressure lawmakers, Texas Politics
  • "Without the rancorous arguments that greeted a sonogram bill and other pro-life legislation, the Texas Senate this afternoon gave initial approval to new 'Choose Life' license plates that will promote awareness of adoption over abortion." — 'Choose Life' license plates get OK, Postcards
  • "The Texas Education Agency said Tuesday that the final tally in job cuts at the agency last month was 110 — including 91 regular employees and 19 contract workers." — Texas Education Agency cuts 110 employees, Trail Blazers
  • "A bill designed to encourage commercial space flight from the Lone Star State was unanimously approved this morning by the Texas Senate, but not before some light-hearted jocularity about the classic TV show Star Trek." — Beam up this bill, Scottie, Postcards

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "The General Land Office has a lot on its plate these days — a controversial property rights lawsuit, the reopening of Texas’ favorite surf spot and an ongoing project to restore Texas’ most fertile fishing pier. As Texas agencies await the tidal wave of budget cuts, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson says coastal erosion projects shouldn’t be cut. 'The beach is a recreation area no different than building a mega sports complex,' he says. 'If we invest in it than we get a return.'" — Beach Projects at Risk From Lawsuit, Budget

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