New in The Texas Tribune:
• State Leaders Want a Halt on Grants by Cancer Research Institute: "State leaders on Wednesday called for a moratorium on grants issued by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. They also want the institute's oversightboard board to immediately address concerns about itsgrant making process."
• Dewhurst, Patrick Discuss Plans for "Sweeping" School Reform: "Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick gave the first details of what they promised would be a wide-ranging set of proposals for public education policy during the upcoming legislative session."
• Bohac's "Merry Christmas Bill" Focuses on Public Schools: "A bill filed by state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, would free public schools from concerns that displays of Christmas cheer could land them in a county court."
• Interactive: Post-Election Finance Reports for Congressional Candidates: Congressional candidates recently had to file their post-general election campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission. This interactive includes the contribution, expenditure, cash on hand and debt totals gleaned from those reports.
• Kay Bailey Hutchison delivers farewell address to Senate colleagues (Houston Chronicle): "Speaking 'with a heavy heart' following the Connecticut school massacre and the death of her close friend Sen. Daniel Inouye, Kay Bailey Hutchison said farewell to her Senate colleagues today with an emotional 29-minute valedictory."
• Obama to Give Congress Plan on Gun Control Within Weeks (The New York Times): "President Obama declared Wednesday that he would make gun control a 'central issue' as he opens a second term, submitting broad new gun control proposals to Congress no later than January and committing the power of his office to overcoming political opposition in the wake of last week’s school massacre."
• Christian leader David Barton: Citizens should have the same weapons the government has (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Christian conservative leader David Barton says gun-control talk in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting runs counter to 'the biblical right of self defense' in which citizens are free to arm themselves with the same weapons their government does."
• More school districts file safety plans (Austin American-Statesman): "As of noon Wednesday, almost two dozen of nearly 80 non-compliant school districts across the state have filed their state-mandated safety plans. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Monday that 78 districts had not submitted summaries of their emergency plans — like the ones that would be in effect if an incident similar to the Newtown, Conn. shootings were to occur."