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The Midday Brief: May 17, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Combs finds $1.2 billion for the budget; Senate redistricting map advances; Davis amendments killed

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New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Comptroller Susan Combs added $1.2 billion to her estimate of state revenues, making that much more money available to budget writers who are scrambling for cash. She said the state's income from sales taxes, motor vehicle sales taxes and oil production are all up, and that those numbers justified the increase in the amount available to spend during the 2012-13 budget." — Combs Finds Another $1.2 Billion for Budget
  • "The Texas Senate approved new political districts that protect all of the Republican and all but one of the Democratic incumbents in that body, but stalled on a House redistricting map already approved in the House." — Senate Approves Redistricting Map, Stalls on House Plan
  • "Call it the Justin Timberlake Treatment: For several reasons — the governor's strengthened executive powers and his alliance with a network of political organizations, the Republicans' ability to demonize President Obama and the federal government, the power of the Tea Party movement, and the sclerotic response of Texas Democrats — the Legislature finds itself boxed in as it searches for a way out of the budget divide." — Guest Column: My Lege in a Box

Your afternoon reading:

  • "As the budget shortfall has grown larger, members of the Legislature seem to be adopting an increasingly strict definition of what it means to be a conservative. For this we can thank a number of factors, including the rise of the tea party and its successes in last November's elections, as well as the increasing prominence of interest groups such as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, whose lawmaker scorecards can come quite in handy during a Republican primary." — A stricter version of conservatism takes root, Austin American-Statesman
  • "The Tea Party scorecard looked a little different a year ago. Then, Republicans locally and nationwide were being ushered into federal, state and local offices, courtesy of a wave of support from the grassroots group that expressed frustration with big government. This month, in a much smaller election, results were mixed: Tea Party-related groups had a handful of successes in local races, but more than a dozen candidates with ties to the group lost their bids." — Tea Party gets mixed results in local elections in North Texas, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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