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The Evening Brief: Feb. 13, 2013

Your evening reading: House Democrats file measure to test GOP support for immigration reform; Paul to make talk radio debut; Norquist says Texas could change national immigration debate

State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, speaks with fellow Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, after 2013 committee assignments are announced.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    House Resolution to Test Support for Immigration Reform: "Democratic Texas House members on Wednesday filed an immigration resolution that could serve as a litmus test for Republican support for reforms being suggested at the national level."

•    Norquist Wants to "Unite Center Right" on Immigration: "Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist said Wednesday that Republicans are not the anti-immigrant party, and that a few loud 'bullfrogs' have created 'a completely bizarre view of where the modern conservative movement is' on immigration reform."

•    Foundations and Tuition Freezes Among Items on UT Regents' Agenda: "The relationship between the University of Texas School of Law and an affiliated foundation is among the topics on the minds of University of Texas System regents as they convene a two-day meeting that starts Wednesday."

•    Pension Privacy Gets Attention of Legislators: "Texas' public pension systems — including the one state lawmakers pay into — have an airtight exemption from the landmark 1973 sunshine law that was designed to let taxpayers known how public money is being spent. But some lawmakers want to change that."

•    Plan Emerging for Legislature to Pay IOUs: "As they do every two years, state lawmakers are preparing to pay billions in lingering bills. What is usually an easy process could become challenging as House Democrats are planning efforts to restore $5.4 billion in public education cuts made in 2011."


•    Ron Paul ventures into radioland (Politico): "Former Rep. Ron Paul is entering the world of talk radio. Courtside Entertainment Group announced today that the former Republican presidential candidate will launch a 'Ron Paul 's America' feature in March. The feature will have Paul 'sharing his thoughts and opinions ... in twice daily one-minute radio commentaries' alongside libertarian radio host Charles Goyette. The segments will be distributed to radio stations nationally and available via podcast."

•    Cultural moment: Ted Nugent gave Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee a hug (Washington Times): "The State of the Union address quickly devolved from historic speech into dozens of political vignettes, from Marco Rubio’s on-camera water break to jousting lawmakers seeking a photo-op with President Obama. And then there was the somewhat extraordinary moment backstage at the U.S. Capitol when rock icon and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent gave Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee a warm hug."

•    Perry: Texas worker deaths unrelated to regulation (Houston Chronicle): "In a press conference today about his trip to lure California businesses to Texas, Gov. Rick Perry boasted of statistics demonstrating Texas' superior job climate, but bristled when a California reporter brought up a less flattering ranking: Texas' top position among all states for worker deaths and injuries. After Perry touted Texas' low tax and low regulatory burden on businesses, an Orange County Register reporter mentioned Texas' poor record of worker safety, asking, 'Can you speak to safety in your lower-regulation state?' 'I don’t think it has anything to do with the regulation side,' Perry said."

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