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The Evening Brief: Jan. 8, 2013

Your evening reading: Straus re-elected after Simpson withdraws; Dewhurst says Senate will keep two-thirds rule; Perry cautions lawmakers against spending budget surplus

Governor Rick Perry, r, congratulated House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, on his reelection at the opening of the 83rd Texas Legislature on January 8, 2013

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Simpson Withdraws, Straus Re-elected Speaker by Acclamation: "House Speaker Joe Straus won another term in that position after his challenger, Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, withdrew from the race."

•   Senate Will Maintain Two-Thirds Rule, Dewhurst Says: "The contentious rule that allows a minority of senators to block legislation is again under fire, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said the two-thirds rule will continue in the Senate for another session." 

•   Perry: Don't Start Making Plans to Spend Surplus: "Gov. Rick Perry warned Texas lawmakers not to start making grand plans for the multibillion-dollar budget surplus and the growing Rainy Day Fund."

•   Community College May Not Lower Price of Degree, Report Says: "According to a new report, students who try to save money on bachelor's degrees by beginning at community colleges tend to borrow as often and as much as their counterparts who begin at a four-year university."


•   Rick Santorum at opening ceremonies (Houston Chronicle): "Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum was visiting his 'friend' state Sen. Ken Paxton, R-Fort Worth, at the Texas Capitol for the opening ceremonies Tuesday."

•   Van de Putte elected president pro tem (Austin American-Statesman): "State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a leading champion of Texas military soldiers and veterans and Texas’ most vulnerable citizens during a legislative career spanning two decades, was elected this afternoon as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate."

•   Ted Cruz emails thanks to Sarah Palin PAC list (Politico): "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) thanked his Sarah Palin fans for their help in getting the newly elected tea party favorite into office. In a message through Palin’s PAC on Tuesday, Cruz wrote: 'We started out as underdogs in a long, competitive primary. But despite the odds being stacked against us, Governor Palin and SarahPAC showed daring leadership by endorsing my campaign. The Governor’s vision and the support of patriots like you helped transform my long-shot candidacy into victory on election night.'"

•   After affair and resignation, Texas track coach seeks justice (CNN): "The University of Texas women's track coach who resigned under fire after the disclosure of an affair with a female student a decade ago doesn't understand why she was targeted for punishment and questions whether she's being treated fairly."

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