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The Evening Brief: Jan. 22, 2013

Your evening reading: 3 injured in shooting at Houston community college; lawmakers sound off on Roe v. Wade anniversary; Legislature weighing fees on electric cars

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•    Amid Bills and Debate, Another Campus Shooting: "News of multiple gunshot victims at the north Houston campus of Lone Star College on Tuesday will likely weigh heavily on the minds of Texas lawmakers as they prepare to consider multiple bills relating to campus safety."

•    Lawmakers Considering Fees on Electric Cars: "In search of new revenue for road construction and maintenance, Texas lawmakers are weighing whether to raise fees on electric cars, a move that is gaining ground in some other states. Drivers of the vehicles rarely, if ever, pay the gas tax, the main source of revenue for the state's highway fund."

•    Bill Seeks Study on Effects of Cutting Federal Funds to State: "State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, has filed legislation that would require the state to study the effects of cutting financial ties with the federal government. The bill is not intended as a call for secession, White said."

•    Senate Education Leader Files Testing Overhaul Bill: "State Sen. Kel Seliger, the Midland Republican who leads the Senate's Higher Education Committee, filed a bill Tuesday offering broad changes to student assessment and high school graduation requirements in the state."

•    Texas' Rank in Graduation Rate Study Presents a Contrast: "A new national report puts Texas high school graduation rates at slightly above average, contrasting with a federal study released late last year that ranked the state among the best at graduating students within four years."

•    TribLive: Howard and Davis on Fetal Pain: "At this morning's TribLive conversation, state Reps. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, and Donna Howard, D-Austin, talked about the possibility of legislation in the 83rd session restricting access to abortions."


•    Roe v. Wade at 40: Texas delegation divides along party lines (Houston Chronicle): "Today, Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation used very strong language to condemn the landmark decision. The only voices supportive of the decision came from Texas Democrats. … Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Houston, issued this statement: 'Today marks the dark anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that overturned a Texas law that prohibited abortion on demand. Since that 1973 ruling, more than 55 million lives have been lost to abortion.'"

•    Muñoz elected DNC finance chair (San Antonio Express-News): "Henry Muñoz III, a local political heavy-hitter who proved to be an invaluable fundraiser for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, was elected the next finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he confirmed Tuesday."

•    Austin lawmaker files medical marijuana bill (The Dallas Morning News): "Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, has filed a bill that stops well short of legalizing marijuana, but still provides a medical excuse to avoid punishment. Under his bill, a person arrested for marijuana could enter evidence that their doctor gave instructions that use of the drug could provide benefits for their illness."

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