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The Evening Brief: Dec. 7, 2012

Your evening reading: lawmakers may revisit family planning cuts; Abbott voices support for federal measure increasing child porn penalties; Hensarling chimes in on Boehner committee purge

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, on June 16, 2011

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Lawmakers Could Restore Family Planning Funds: "When lawmakers passed a budget in 2011 that cut $73 million from family planning services, the goal was largely political: halt taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Now they are facing the policy implications and, in some cases, reconsidering."

•   Abbott Backs Federal Measure Increasing Child Porn Penalties: "Attorney General Greg Abbott expressed support Friday for a federal measure that increases penalties for viewing child pornography. Federal judges and advocates have said that the penalties are already steep enough."

•   What if Government Officials Were Scrutinized Like Football Coaches?: "Mack Brown has been a successful football coach for the University of Texas at Austin, but he's facing some heat after three disappointing seasons. Imagine what it would be like if officials overseeing major state government programs were subject to the same level of interest and publicity."

•   After 20 Years, NAFTA Draws Broad Spectrum of Praise and Controversy: "Twenty years after NAFTA was enacted, stakeholders met in Texas to discuss its future. A who's who of business leaders touted NAFTA's success. But critics say the pact created an unbalanced economy and displaced workers."


•   Rep. Jeb Hensarling says he had nothing to do with Boehner’s decision to purge committee dissidents (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling is taking over as chairman of the Financial Services Committee. But the House leadership — specifically Speaker John Boehner — apparently forgot to tell him that there was going to be a purge of 'unreliable' Republicans on the committee."

•   Texas man linked to Anonymous faces more charges (The Associated Press): "A Texas man who has described himself as a spokesman for the hacker-activist group Anonymous faces new charges over data stolen from the private intelligence firm Stratfor last Christmas, federal prosecutors said Friday."

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