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The Evening Brief: Sept. 20, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas still leads nation in number of uninsured; Texans in Congress clash over immigrant visa bills; Paul kept spending in August

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New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Census Bureau: Texas Still Tops Uninsured Ranks: "Texas has more uninsured people than any other state in the nation. State demographers say that if Texas implemented federal health care reforms the number of uninsured here would be halved by 2014. But Gov. Rick Perry has said the reforms brazenly trod on Texas sovereignty."

•   Brad Bailey: The TT Interview: The founder and CEO of the nonprofit Texas Immigration Solution on how the group formed, why he thinks Republicans have the answer to the country's immigration problem and what both parties should do to solve it.

•   Interactive: State-Funded Mental Health Care: Texas has a severe shortage of mental health professionals, according to the federal government. This interactive map provides information on state-funded mental health care statewide.


•   Ron Paul campaign's busy August (Politico): "Ron Paul’s presidential hopes have long been over, but he’s still spending cash like a candidate. Paul spent more than $588,000 in August to fund a range of activities and initiatives, from travel to consultants to maintaining a sizable staff, new federal financial disclosures show."

•   Immigrant visa battle pits Lamar Smith, Henry Cuellar vs. rest of Texas Democrats (Houston Chronicle): "Republican and Democratic congressmen introduced two separate bills within the past week to prioritize visas for American-educated foreign graduate students in the STEM fields. 'We could boost economic growth and spur job creation by allowing American employers to more easily hire some of the most qualified foreign graduates of U.S. universities,' Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, said. 'These students have the ability to start a company that creates jobs or come up with an invention that could jump-start a whole new industry.'"

•  Romney’s gift to Democrats (Salon): "Last night, the campaign of Democrat Pete Gallego — who is running against Rep. Francisco Canseco in a Texas district that represents one of the Democrats’ pickup opportunities — sent a video to reporters from January in which the freshman Republican echoed Romney in saying that half the country bears the 'burden' while 'half of the American people do not pay a cent in taxes.'"

•   Mayor John Cook opts against veto, ballpark moves forward (El Paso Times): "Mayor John Cook will not veto plans for the Downtown ballpark, so Triple-A baseball appears to be coming to El Paso, he announced this morning."

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