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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for March 23, 2011

Your afternoon reading: voter ID debate under way; House budget passed without debate; Perry fined $1,500 for ethics violation

Rep. Peter Gallego D-Alpine reviews the Texas House Practice book with Rep. Armando Walle D-Houston while discussing HB 14 r…

Check out our home page for a live stream of voter ID debate on the House floor. And follow reporter Julián Aguilar (@nachoaguilar) on Twitter for live updates.

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Gov. Rick Perry was fined $1,500 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to report rental income from a house in College Station, and for filing incomplete information regarding debts on the same property, in personal financial statements required by state law." — Perry Fined $1,500 by Ethics Commission
  • "The Senate preliminarily approved a bill today by state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, that would add new definitions and harsher penalties to human trafficking laws." — Human Trafficking Bill Passes in Senate
  • The national criminal justice expert on how other states have handled controversial prison closings and reduced criminal justice costs and how the Right On Crime Movement might give lawmakers the political freedom to be more than tough when it comes to crime. — Marc Mauer: The TT Interview

Your afternoon reading:

  • "With no discussion, the House Appropriations Committee approved a proposed budget for the next two years that the chairman said totals $164.5 billion in state and federal funds, or nearly $23 billion less than current spending." — House budget-writers OK bill that would trim $23 billion, Texas Politics
  • "Rep. Jim Pitts said he'd like to see House-Senate budget negotiators massage the budget his Appropriations Committee approved Wednesday — and even 'make it better.' But Pitts, R-Waxahachie, the House's chief budget writer, said Texans alarmed at the budget's deep cuts in spending will need to change some minds in the House, which has an unusually large number of freshman, many elected with tea party support." — Pitts: I'd like to 'make it better,' but many Rs will balk, Trail Blazers
  • "A proposal by state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, that he says would 'clarify groundwater ownership' and has the backing of the property rights groups passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday." — Controversial water measure clears first hurdle, Postcards

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