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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for April 6, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Tea Party presses senators on budget; hospital tax quietly floated; Senate approves DNA testing bill

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "While the Senate's budget is very tentative, and far from final, the difference as of April 6 between the two chambers' budgets, when we get out our yardstick and measure state revenue and state dedicated tax money, is just north of $6 billion." — How far apart are the House and Senate on the budget? Really?, Trail Blazers
  • "Catholic bishops and archbishops visited the Texas Capitol on Wednesday and found themselves in the middle of the tension over the difficult state budget, which is now in the Senate's hands." — Catholic bishops get in on tense budget times, Trail Blazers
  • "Thirteen years after Congress overhauled the American welfare system, 57 percent of immigrants with children — those in the country legally or not — use at least one government, welfare program according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies." — Study: 70% of Texas' illegal immigrant families receive welfare, Texas on the Potomac

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Talk has resumed in the Senate — albeit quietly — about a so-called quality assurance fee, a revenue generator that would effectively tax hospitals to prop up the state’s cash-strapped Medicaid program." — Will Hospitals Be Taxed to Prop Up Medicaid?
  • "Prisoners in Texas may get easier access to post-conviction DNA testing to prove their innocence. The Senate today passed a bill today that would reduce restrictions on post-conviction DNA testing by allowing biological evidence that was previously untested, or tested by older, potentially inaccurate techniques, to be tested and used as evidence in court." — Senate Approves Easing Restrictions on DNA Testing
  • "The House Public Health Committee put its stamp of approval this morning on a much-watered-down version of Rep. Fred Brown's Texas Medical Board bill, a measure designed to protect doctors from unfounded complaints." — Medical Board Bill Moves Out of Public Health
  • "Lawmakers are looking for ways to ease the effects of budget cuts on local governments — community colleges, school districts, cities and counties — by easing the unfunded mandates the state imposes on them. And while representatives of those entities are glad to see any relief, they see many of the impending cuts as just another form of the same thing." — State, Local Government Look to Curb Unfunded Mandates
  • "Data enthusiasts may be cringing at proposed federal cuts to data transparency websites, but the Texas Senate passed a bill today that would promote state transparency by requiring agencies to post high-value data sets online." — Senate OKs Bill to Promote Texas Data Transparency

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