The Evening Brief: July 9, 2012
Your evening reading: Perry says he'll work with Legislature to block Medicaid expansion; Cruz fires back over complaints from Senate Republicans; voter ID trial opens
New in The Texas Tribune:
- Perry: Texas Won't Implement Key Elements of Health Reform: "Texas will not expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance exchange, two major tenets of the federal health reform that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month, Gov. Rick Perry said in a Monday morning announcement. … Perry's office said that while the governor knows the Medicaid expansion issue is 'one he will have to work with the Legislature on,' it was important to him to voice his opposition. 'He will fight in the upcoming Legislature to ensure it is not expanded,' his office said in an emailed statement."
- Cruz Stands By Criticism of Dewhurst's Legislative Record: "U.S. Senate hopeful Ted Cruz is firing back at complaints from GOP lawmakers who say he is distorting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's record on hot-button issues like government spending, taxes and immigration. Cruz stood by his portrayal of Dewhurst as a profligate spender and early proponent of a payroll tax as part of a massive school finance overhaul nearly a decade ago. The former solicitor general released his own 'open letter,' in this case directly to Dewhurst. It was an answer to a letter released over the weekend and signed by all but one member of the Republican Senate caucus."
- Straus: Process to End Budget Diversions Starts Now: "Texas House Speaker Joe Straus called on lawmakers Monday to start figuring out how to stop diverting billions of dollars in dedicated taxes and fees that are being used to balance state budgets."
- Cruz, Justice Roberts Have History: "Before he was the U.S. Supreme Court chief justice who helped save 'Obamacare,' John Roberts was friends with U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, who once called Roberts one of the 'very best lawyers in the country.' But he recently described the justice's controversial decision as 'heartbreaking.'"
- Wentworth, Campbell Release New Campaign Ads in SD-25: "With about three weeks left before the July 31 runoff, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, and his GOP challenger, Donna Campbell, have each released new television ads."
- Voter ID trial opens with Feds warning 1.4 million Texas voters could be disenfranchised (The Dallas Morning News): "A federal trial opened Monday on the legality of Texas’ controversial new voter ID law with the Justice Department warning that the law could disenfranchise more than a million would-be voters, and a top state election official testifying that nearly 300 ballots submitted in May were cast in the name of dead people."
- Texas voter ID trial opens (Politico): "A panel of federal judges opened a trial in Washington, D.C., on Monday to decide whether Texas can carry out its year-old voter ID law, which the Justice Department contends will prevent Latino and African-American citizens from voting. … As the trial got under way in a packed courtroom, DOJ trial attorney Elizabeth Westfall went even further, arguing that the federal government will show racial motivation in Texas’s passage of the law. 'The facts will convincingly demonstrate the discriminatory purpose and effect of Senate Bill 14,' Westfall told the three-judge panel in her brief opening argument in a trial expected to last through Friday."
- State land commissioner thinking of getting agency into water game (Austin American-Statesman): Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is getting the state into the Central Texas water game. Patterson's office plans to announce today that it has contracted with two water consulting firms to examine the feasibility of building a desalination plant between Austin and New Braunfels on land the General Land Office owns.
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