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The Evening Brief: Sept. 25, 2012

Your evening reading: U.S. Supreme Court denies fourth stay of execution for Texas inmate; Super PAC announces ad buy against Gallego; Booker predicts Castro will be first Latino governor of Texas

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New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Updated: Supreme Court Denies Stay; Foster to Be Executed: "The U.S. Supreme Court has denied death row inmate Cleve Foster's fourth request for a stay his execution, which is scheduled for Tuesday evening."

•   Super PAC Throws Down on Gallego in CD-23: "The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based Super PAC supported by several GOP members of Congress, announced a $330,000 ad buy against Democrat Pete Gallego in the race for Congressional District 23."

•   Court Finds Texas Open Meetings Act Constitutional: "The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld lower courts' findings that the Texas Open Meetings Act is constitutional, rebutting challenges from city council members across Texas."

•   TribuneFest: Perry on the Existence of Satan: "At the opening session of the 2012 Texas Tribune Festival, Gov. Rick Perry explained why he believes the separation of church and state is the Devil's work."

•   Water to Be Big Topic for House, Straus Says: "Speaking to a cattle raisers' group on Tuesday, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus promised that water 'will be at the center of the discussion.'"

•   Updated: Lawmakers Urged to Penalize Trafficking Businesses: "Despite efforts to crack down on human trafficking in Texas lawmakers and advocates said pimps still operate with little pressure. Legislators were urged to increase civil penalties for trafficking businesses."

•   ACC Developing Go-at-Your-Own-Pace Courses: "WGU Texas, the state's online university, and Austin Community College are teaming up to translate the concept of competency-based learning from online to on campus. Questions still need to be answered, but key higher education officials say the project could be a harbinger of things to come in Texas higher education."


•   Cory Booker prediction: Texas Gov. Julian Castro (Politico): "Cory Booker brushed off questions about his own ambitions but predicted Monday that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro would be the first Latino governor of Texas. Castro and Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., headlined a talk here fresh off Booker’s trip last week to San Antonio, where the two rising Democratic stars taped a video for the Obama campaign, Booker said on Twitter. 'I think the gentleman sitting to my left will be the first Latino governor of the state of Texas,' Booker said of Castro Monday."

•   Senator pitches new state property tax for schools (The Dallas Morning News): "A key state senator Monday proposed a partial solution to Texas’ long-running school finance troubles — a constitutional amendment creating a state property tax to pay for public schools. Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, said the Legislature should consider a state property tax for schools in lieu of local property taxes, a change he contended would eliminate many of the funding disparities that have been the subject of several lawsuits in Texas over the years."

•   Texas district’s new policy allows educators of either gender to paddle male, female students (The Associated Press): "Superintendent Michael Kelley apologized to the girls and their families, and the school district has changed its policy — to expand, not abolish, corporal punishment. Board members voted Monday night to let administrators paddle students of the opposite sex, after Kelley cited a lack of women administrators to carry out spankings."

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