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The Evening Brief: Aug. 16, 2012

Your evening reading: review finds cuts have closed more than 60 family planning clinics; North Texas cities set to begin West Nile aerial spraying; report says state has cut more than 6,000 jobs

This clinic in Mission is closed because of budget cuts to Planned Parenthood.


•   One Year Later, Cuts to Women’s Health Have Hurt More Than Just Planned Parenthood (The Texas Observer): "Of the more than 60 clinics that have closed across Texas, only 12 were run by Planned Parenthood. Dozens of other clinics unconnected to Planned Parenthood nonetheless lost state funds and have closed, leaving low-income women in large areas of the state without access to contraception."

•   West Nile aerial spraying set tonight for Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, Park Cities, Richardson (The Dallas Morning News): "Aerial spraying will be expanded tonight to include Garland, Richardson and Mesquite north of Interstate 30, weather permitting, a Dallas County spokeswoman said."

•   State cut more than 6,000 employees (The Dallas Morning News): "A state auditors report just released shows that the state has eliminated about 6,145 jobs in the past year. Most of those cuts have come in state agencies, but colleges and universities also report that they have cut 336 faculty posts and 580 staff members."

•   Tom DeLay Registers to Lobby on Sex-Trafficking Issues (Roll Call): "Former Rep. Tom DeLay has officially made the jump to lobbyist. The Texas Republican in late July filed paperwork to lobby for Argus Global LLC on sex-trafficking issues, according to records tracked by the website Political MoneyLine."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   State-Run Women's Health Program Faces Questions: On Thursday, state Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, wrote a sharply worded letter to Greg Abbott after learning his office had submitted a July 9 briefing to the appeals court that twice referenced the state's intent to move Women's Health Care clients into Medicaid after the expansion of the program takes effect in 2014. She pointed out that was the same day Rick Perry notified federal authorities that Texas would not extend the program. Farrar requested that Abbott "correct or withdraw" those statements.

•   Interactive Map: The 2012 General Election Races: "There are more than 240 races on the ballot for Texans to decide in the general election. Many of those races, however, are already decided, because redistricting made some districts unfavorable for one party or another. Use these maps of the Texas House, the state Senate and the U.S. House to see which districts are without major party candidates."

•   State-Run Women's Health Program Faces Funding, Rule Questions: "As state officials prepare to take full control of the once federally funded Texas Women’s Health Program on Nov. 1, they’re running into a series of unexpected challenges, from rule changes to questions about funding."

•   Chris Connealy: The TT Interview: "The state fire marshal on how he’ll implement the changes in a Texas Forensic Science Commission report, ideas for educating fire investigators and ways to bring more experts to the scene when arson occurs."

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