New in The Texas Tribune:
• Ahead of Health Exchange Deadline, Perry Reaffirms "No" Stance: "Ahead of a Friday deadline to decide, Gov. Rick Perry’s office has reaffirmed that Texas will not implement a major tenet of federal health reform — a state-based online marketplace for consumers to purchase coverage."
• State Leaders Adopt Spending Cap for 2014-15 Budget: "State leaders including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus voted to cap the state’s spending growth rate at 10.71 percent for the next-two year budget."
• Interactive Map: Texas Drifted Right in 2012: "Much of Texas voted less Democratic and more Republican in 2012 than 2008. Use our interactive to see the differences, by county, between the 2012 and 2008 vote totals."
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• Lawmaker Launches Effort to End Driver Responsibility Program: "Lawmakers are once again working to end a surcharge program they say is ineffective and unfair. But the program also provides millions of dollars to trauma centers across Texas, and the prospect of eliminating those funds has medical groups worried."
• Mary Giovagnoli: The TT Interview: "The director of the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center on what happens with immigration reform after the election and what the economic gain will be if reform is passed."
• John Cornyn on Senate races: GOP bungled it (Politico): "Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the incoming Republican whip who led his party’s Senate campaign efforts this year, candidly acknowledged the GOP bungled a prime opportunity to take control of the chamber through a combination of poor polling, poor candidates and a poor job of selling its message."
• Details about the GOP’s alternate to the DREAM Act emerge (The Daily Caller): "The Daily Caller has obtained details of an ACHIEVE Act proposal being floated by some senate Republicans. It appears similar to the conservative alternative to the Dream Act that Sen. Marco Rubio worked on last summer (before President Obama issued his executive order, effectively tabling the issue until after the election)."
• Going over the fiscal cliff would cut about $656 million in federal grants to Texas (The Dallas Morning News): "Federal funds represent about 32 percent of the Texas state budget, according to the Legislative Budget Board. Sequestration would affect federal grants in Texas equal to 8 percent of state revenues, the fourth-highest among states, the Pew report says. The actual spending cut would be about $656 million, according to the state budget figures provided by the LBB."