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The Midday Brief: May 16, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Senate approves bigger Rainy Day withdrawal; statewide smoking ban could live on; College Democrats warn Republicans

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "Speaker Joe Straus kicked off the afternoon session making note of the stressful, 15-hour days that had just passed. … Straus urged members to 'collaborate whenever possible, and when it is not possible to communicate openly and civilly when you disagree.'" — Joe Straus: Play nice, Trail Blazers
  • "Wednesday could make or break the legislative session. The House is scheduled to take up two major budget-related bills that could be key to balancing the state budget." — Key budget bills to land on House floor Wed., Postcards
  • "It might be a minor measure sailing through the Legislature without opposition, but the 'Heimlich poster bill' underscores a long-simmering if little-known controversy over the best way to treat choking victims." — Bill highlights dispute over first aid for choking victims, Austin American-Statesman

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "The Texas Senate approved a $3.97 billion draw on the state's Rainy Day Fund to cover a deficit of the same size in the current budget, but not before rejecting efforts to add on a larger amount to help balance the 2012-13 budget." — Senate Votes $4 Billion From Rainy Day Fund for Deficit
  • "Don't stub out the statewide smoking ban bill yet. The bill's House and Senate authors say they've got a vehicle for the measure to be passed, and they're still hopeful Texas will be the first southern state to outlaw the habit in restaurants, bars and most public places." — Statewide Smoking Ban Not Stubbed Out Yet
  • "Candidates in next year’s U.S. House and Senate elections in Texas raised more than $5 million in the first quarter from individuals. Most live in Texas. But a significant portion came from outside the Lone Star State, according to the Federal Election Commission. California led the way, followed by Virginia, Washington, D.C. and New York." — On the Records: Fundraising Outside Texas
  • "As a Christian and a lawmaker, biblical stories form something of a lens through which I try to find focus when making public policy decisions — particularly as anti-immigrant bills have gained a disturbing momentum in Austin over the last few weeks." — Guest Column: Mary and Joseph Were "Undocumented"

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