New in The Texas Tribune:
- Perry: Women's Health Program Won't Die: "Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that Texas will find the money to continue to fund the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, no matter what the federal government does. But Planned Parenthood won't be allowed to participate. 'We’re going to fund this program. … That’s a moot point,' Perry said. He declined to say where he'd get the roughly $35 million the federal government provides every year but told reporters that the state would not drop the program that has become a political football between Washington and Texas. 'We’ll find the money. The state is committed to this program,' he told reporters. 'This program is not going away.'"
- Lozano Makes GOP Switch Official, Calls Dems Bullies: "Flanked by the state's leading Republicans, inlcuding Gov. Rick Perry and House Speaker Joe Straus, state Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, made his switch to the GOP official today. … 'In the words of President Ronald Reagan, "I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me,"' he said. 'This last session was very difficult for me for the simple fact that I always intended to always vote my district, and to never be bullied into submission. And I would get, at times, mistreated by members of the Democratic caucus because I was voting conservative.'"
- Roger Williams Will Run for Congress — in CD-25: "Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams will join the Republican primary for a congressional seat that stretches 200 miles from the southern edge of Tarrant County to Hays County, south of Austin. … Williams, a car dealer and former Texas secretary of state, would join a pack of other candidates that includes former Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (no relation), businessman Dave Garrison, former GOP consultant Chad Wilbanks and several others."
- Anti-Abortion Advocates Blast Planned Parenthood: "Countering Planned Parenthood's statewide bus tour to defend its status as a beneficiary of the Women's Health Program, leaders from several Texas pregnancy resource centers held a news conference Thursday in Austin to say that the program should move forward without Planned Parenthood."
- Ellis again urges Justice to deny state’s Voter ID law (Houston Chronicle): "Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, urged the U.S. Department of Justice in a letter today to deny approval for Texas’ new Voter ID law. Justice Department approval is necessary before the new law takes affect because of historic discrimination against minorities in Texas and other souther states, which subjects those states to close scrutiny under the Voting Rights Act before any election changes are made."
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