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The Evening Brief: Jan. 9, 2013

Your evening reading: state leaders talk up tax relief; Senate keeps two-thirds rule; Mostyns donating $1 million to Giffords gun-control group

Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the media about his legislative proirities as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (l) and House Speaker Joe ...

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•   Dewhurst, Straus, Perry See Opportunity to Take Up Tax Relief in Session: "In a joint appearance Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus seemed to agree that taxes would go down. Meanwhile, none would commit to restoring education cuts from last session."

•   Senate Preserves Two-Thirds Rule: "Senators approved a new set of rules for the session on Wednesday that will allow a third of the Senate to continue to have the power to keep bills from coming up for a vote."

•   Session's First Day Long on Pomp, but Leaders Also Address Priorities: "Texas legislators started their 83rd session with leaders who want to focus on water, infrastructure, budget transparency, education — and, perhaps, some tax relief."

•   UT-Austin Names Center for Former Gov. Bill Clements: "The University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday is announcing its new William P. Clements Jr. Center on History, Strategy and Statecraft, named for the former governor of Texas."

Culled

•   Giffords Anti-Gun Group Gets $1 Million Texas Donation (Bloomberg): "Steve and Amber Mostyn, wealthy Texas trial attorneys, said today that they are giving $1 million to help start the gun-control advocacy group formed by former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly."

•   Google invests $200 million in Texas wind farm (CNN): "You've heard about Google's driverless cars, virtual-reality glasses and plans for a space elevator. What's less well-known is that the company is also a huge investor in green energy. Google announced another big renewable energy deal on Wednesday, purchasing a $200 million stake in a wind farm in west Texas. The 161 megawatt Spinning Spur Wind Project in Oldham County, Texas, generates enough energy to power more than 60,000 homes, the search giant said."

•   Stockman Seeks Repeal of Gun-Free School Zones Law (Roll Call): "Texas Republican Steve Stockman is searching for co-sponsors for a bill he introduced Jan. 3 that would repeal the federal law that prohibits firearms in school zones."

•   Three Texas lawmakers intervene in Supreme Court case to support public prayer (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Reps. Lamar Smith, Louie Gohmert and Randy Neugebauer are among 49 lawmakers who have signed on to support a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Town of Greece v. Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens."

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