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The Evening Brief: April 13, 2012

Your evening reading: state board approves controversial stem cell therapy rules; push for winner-take-all Texas primary ends; state House candidates pushing to end pension benefits for some legislators

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New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Medical Board Adopts Stem Cell Rules: "The Texas Medical Board has approved controversial new rules on the adult stem cells, sparking worries that Texans could pay tens of thousands of dollars for injections that have not yet been proven safe or effective. Supporters, though, say the injections are already happening and some rules are better than none."
  • Life of a Texas Lawmaker: Lousy Pay, Great Benefits: "Texas legislators get paid less than the people who sack your groceries, which, when you think about it, seems perfectly rational. But lawmakers’ bennies are sweet, starting with guaranteed pensions after eight years on the job. That doesn’t sit well with everyone, including a couple of this year’s candidates for the Legislature, who think the benefits — if they continue at all — should be cut off if lawmakers break the law."
  • National Parks Are Focus of Planned Haze Rule: "The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling out nationwide rules aimed at improving air quality above national parks like Big Bend by focusing on industrial plants. In a twist, the plan's final form may hinge partly on the fate of a different rule — the hot-button cross-state air pollution rule — which is being argued Friday in a federal court."

Culled:

  • Effort ends for 2012 winner-take-all primary (Austin American-Statesman): "Republican leaders will not push to change the May 29 Texas presidential primary into a winner-take-all affair that would award all 152 eligible delegates to the top vote-getter. Instead of seeking an emergency meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee to consider the change, leaders of the winner-take-all movement have decided to ask delegates to the state convention to consider the idea in June. 'After study, it was decided that this question is best posed to the Rules Committee and the elected delegates of the 2012 Republican Party of Texas State Convention convening in Fort Worth in June,' Weston Martinez, an executive committee member from San Antonio, said in an email this afternoon."

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