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The Evening Brief: Feb. 1, 2013

Your evening reading: Perry calls for more charter schools; Obama administration offers compromise on birth control rule; governor's call for tax relief sparks confusion

Gov. Perry speaks at Texas State Board of Education meeting on February 1st, 2013

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Speaking to SBOE, Perry Talks of Need for More Charters: "Gov. Rick Perry's brief remarks at the State Board of Education on Friday echoed his State of the State address, where he called for the creation of more charter schools and the expansion of career and technical courses for high school students."

•    Perry's Call for Tax Relief is Subject of Confusion: "The $1.8 billion in tax relief that Gov. Rick Perry called for this week was short on details, but the few that are out there are already sparking questions."

•    Ethics Commission Declines to Raise Legislators' Session Pay: "There will be no pay raise for legislators this year. The Texas Ethics Commission, at the urging of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, declined to raise the per diem payments lawmakers get when they're in session."

•    Updated: Straus Offers Details on Transparency Panel: "House Speaker Joe Straus says a new Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations will delve into the finances, compensation packages and public-private partnerships across state government."

•    Proposed Charter School Would Focus on Adults: "Goodwill Industries hopes to open a charter school in Central Texas to help adults who lack a high school education. The campus would be the first of its kind in Texas. But there is an obstacle: The state only provides funding for students under age 26."

•    Searching for Clues in Perry's State of the State: "The governor stayed away from social issues and some obvious hot-button topics in his State of the State speech this week. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a political speech."


•    Birth Control Rule Altered to Allay Religious Objections (The New York Times): "The Obama administration proposed yet another compromise on Friday in an effort to address the concerns of religious organizations that object to its policy requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptives for women at no charge."

•    Kevin Brady to take on Medicare challenges (Politico): "Congress has done little but bicker over Medicare for the past few years, but Rep. Kevin Brady still thinks he has a shot at fixing the program now that he’s leading a powerful health panel."

•    Stockman challenges Obama to come to Texas, 'where I will teach him how to create jobs' (Houston Chronicle): "For Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, the latest jobless numbers are an indication that Obama is giving up on economic growth. Yesterday, Stockman released a statement chastising the decision to shut down the jobs council. 'Rather than address our worsening economic crisis, President Obama shut down his Jobs Council today so he won’t be distracted by the economy,' Stockman said Thursday."

•    Former First Dog Barney Bush passes away at age 12 (The Dallas Morning News): "Former First Dog Barney Bush — a black, Scottish terrier jokingly called a 'lump' by Karl Rove — has passed away after a battle with lymphoma. He was 12."

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