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The Midday Brief: May 25, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Perry wants lawmakers, not courts, to draw congressional maps; Simpson blocks salvia bill; Texas vs. feds fight centers on a lizard

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (c) visits with House members to discuss the state budget issues at the back railing on May 19, 2011.

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Rep. David Simpson … a Longview Republican with a penchant for surprising his colleagues, today effectively killed a bill to ban salvia (or to the botanist: Salvia divinorum). Simpson said from the House floor that he was ready to use the parliamentary procedure of talking for 10 minutes during debate on Senate Bill 348, reducing the measure to legislative ashes." — Simpson smokes salvia bill, Postcards
  • "Democrats … are insisting the upset win bodes well for 2012, when they hope to retake the House. But Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, called it 'naïve and risky... to predict the future based on the results of this unusual race.'" — NRCC's Pete Sessions shrugs off costly loss in upstate NY contest, Trail Blazers

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Could a brown, beady-eyed, two-and-a-half-inch lizard really threaten millions of barrels of Texas oil? West Texas lawmakers are worried that adding the sagebrush lizard to the Endangered Species List would do just that." — The Latest Texas vs. Feds Dispute? A Tiny Lizard
  • "We've added 27 new entities to our government employee salaries database and updated 30 others, bringing the total number to 129, with salaries for 660,000 public employees. The database now includes every campus in the Texas A&M, Texas State, and University of North Texas systems, the Bexar and Travis county appraisal districts and more school districts and transit authorities." — Data App: 27 New Entities, 30 Updated in Public Salaries Database

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