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The Midday Brief: June 7, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Perry adds sanctuary cities to special-session agenda; House Democratic leader fined; the politics (or not) of the governor's prayer event

Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Tuesday's contentious debate on the state Senate floor over a proposed congressional redistricting map, which passed unsurprisingly on a party line vote, was just a hint of why graduate students at Texas A&M University — and even some lawmakers — are studying alternative ways to handle the process." — Redistricting: A Better Way? Many Think So
  • "Officials at the Texas Commission on Jail Standards confirmed today that another inmate has died in the Gregg County Jail. The incident brings the total number of deaths in that facility to 10 since 2005. It comes just six months after the death of 33-year-old Amy Lynn Cowling." — Another Death in Troubled Gregg County Jail

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Gov. Rick Perry's invitation to his 49 fellow governors to join him later this summer for a day of Christian prayer and fasting for 'our troubled country' has sparked a lively debate. On one hand, shouldn't leaders be allowed, even encouraged, to rise above partisan affairs to invoke the deeper qualities of faith in our society? But shouldn't they also be careful not to diminish spiritual faith as just another tool of politics?" — Is Rick Perry's day of Christian prayer about religion or politics?, Trail Blazers
  • "This probably wasn't what Sen. Wendy Davis had in mind. It's been a week since the Fort Worth Democrat filibustered the controversial school finance compromise in the last week of the regular legislative session and forced a special session to deal with the budget cuts to education. In that week, the Senate has moved at lightening speed, passing not only the school finance plan that Davis and other Democrats found reprehensible, but also Senate Bill 8, which allows school districts to furlough teachers and cut their pay, as well as making it easier to fire them." — Is the Special Session Turning into a Nightmare for Teachers' Groups?, The Texas Observer
  • "The Ethics Commission a few minutes ago announced that it was fining state Rep. Jessica Farrar $2,500 for a variety of campaign finance report discrepancies, including failing to fully identify the work or the name of the employer of 12 people who contributed $500 or more to her campaign." — Rep. Jessica Farrar fined $2,500 for campaign finance reporting violations, Texas Watchdog

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