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The Midday Brief: June 22, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Borris Miles takes school trustees to Costa Rica; lawmakers and governors across the U.S. locked in budget and education funding feuds; TWIA overhaul may make for a long summer.

State Rep. Borris Miles, D-Houston, raises a point of order on HB400 that sends the bill back to the House Education Committee on April 26, 2011.

Your afternoon reading: 

"The state legislator and Houston schools vendor who took school trustee Larry Marshall on two all-expenses-paid trips to Costa Rica last year says he's offered the same trip to school trustees across Texas" —  State Rep. Borris Miles: I've offered free Costa Rica trips to school trustees across Texas, and there's nothing wrong with itTexas Watchdog

"After months of public feuding and failed negotiations, lawmakers and governors in several states remain deadlocked over how to close daunting budget shortfalls and pay for education and other services, with some Democrats calling for tax hikes and Republicans countering with demands for deep cuts to state government." —States Battling Over Education Budgets at Fiscal Year's End, Education Week

"But while life expectancy in the country as a whole has continued to rise steadily for the last twenty years, a new study shows that life expectancy for women has actually declined during this period in 313 U.S. counties, most in the Southeast, the Southern Midwest, and Appalachia. " — Life getting shorter for women in hundreds of U.S. counties,

"A KXAN News investigation shows that as of June 1, [Ron] Reynolds owed the Texas Ethics Commission nearly $10,260 in fines relating to failure to file the required financial disclosure reports required of candidates for public office and officeholders." — Lawmaker fined $10K by ethics panel, KXAN News

New in the Texas Tribune: 

"Setting up another last-minute fight between the House and Senate, a panel of senators this morning approved a bill meant to reform the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association that is radically different from the version the lower chamber approved, and is not favored by Gov. Rick Perry." — Senate Panel Approves TWIA Bill, Braces For Fight

"Only 16 percent of Latino adults have an associate's degree or higher — compared to 33 percent of the total working-aged population in Texas, according to a report by Excelencia in Education, a Washington D.C-based non-profit organization focused on boosting Latino success in higher education. The national average is 38 percent." —Latinos Lag in College Completion, Report Says

"Michael Williams is officially out of the Senate race and in the race for a new congressional seat based in Arlington." — Williams Makes Congressional Run Official  

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