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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for March 22, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Donna Howard speaks out; Railroad Commission clears gas driller; Berman and Burnam unite against driver program

State Rep. Donna Howard arrives at election contest hearing for the election contest of the House District 48

Your afternoon reading:

  • "House Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, took a few moments on the House floor today to thank her colleagues for their support through an effort by her failed election opponent, Dan Neil, to overturn his November loss." — House Dem thanks colleagues, slams election contest, Trail Blazers
  • "Normally, state Reps. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, and Leo Berman, R-Tyler, are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. But on Tuesday, they joined together — along with other lawmakers — to call for an end to the Driver Responsibility Program, created in 2003 to levy surcharges for traffic violations in order to raise funds for highways and trauma care." — Burnam/Berman on the same side?, PoliTex
  • "Two bills concerning liquor and wine that are expected to boost state revenues were approved this morning by the Texas Senate." — Two booze bills, more state revenue, Postcards

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "In a meeting this morning punctuated by harsh denunciations of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Railroad Commission voted unanimously to clear a natural gas driller, Range Resources, of charges that it contaminated two water wells in Parker County. The EPA, however, said it stands by its charges against the driller." — Railroad Commission Clears Gas Driller of Harming Water
  • "Texas' environmental regulators — already under fire from green groups for not doing enough to keep air and water pollution in check — are bracing for deep cuts as lawmakers hash out the budget. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality faces a possible cut of about $295 million, or 34 percent. The Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, could see a 16 percent cut. Other agencies with some environmental functions also face the ax." — Environmental Regulators Brace for Budget Cuts

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