Your afternoon reading:
- "The Texas Senate took minutes to tentatively approve a proposed $176.5 billion, two-year state budget Wednesday in a party-line 19-12 vote, steamrolling Democrats who said it cuts back crucial services while leaving billions unspent in the rainy day fund." — Senate tentatively passes budget proposal, 19-12, Texas Politics
- "The rhetorical wrangling between Texas Republicans and the Obama administration over the federal response to raging Texas wildfires became more contentious today when Sen. John Cornyn and Gov. Rick Perry blasted the White House for denying Texas’ request for a federal disaster declaration. The Obama administration quickly responded that it has offered 22 different kinds of federal assistance to Texas in recent months." — John Cornyn, Rick Perry blast Obama for denying Texas wildfire aid request, Texas on the Potomac
- "State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, reacting this morning to a headline in the Statesman that read: 'Campus-carry bill revived, then killed again.' Wentworth said the headline gave the impression campus-carry is done with in the Senate. 'It’s not dead. I can assure you of that,' he said. 'It’s on hold. It’s coming back.'" — Wentworth: Campus-carry not dead, Postcards
New in The Texas Tribune:
- The Tribune's Thanh Tan is in the Senate liveblogging the budget debate, which has raised questions of procedure after the chamber voted along party lines to tentatively approve the bill.
- "Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, and Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston joined forces this morning to ask the House to accept all of the Senate's amendments to the abortion sonogram bill, virtually ensuring it's headed to Gov. Rick Perry's desk." — House, Senate Unite On Abortion Sonogram Bill
- "Did former State Board of Education member Rene Nunez violate state law when he encouraged four current board members to extend the contract with the company managing the state's $25 billion Permanent School Fund?" — Did Former SBOE Member Violate State Ethics Law?
- "A group of prominent Texas A&M University alumni have signed a letter opposing the controversial 'breakthrough solutions' proposed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and encouraged by the state's Aggie-in-Chief, Gov. Rick Perry." — A&M Alumni Organize Against Higher Ed Proposals
And in this week's TribCast: the budget and outside groups