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The Evening Brief: March 1, 2013

Your evening reading: Arkansas Medicaid deal draws attention in Texas; Jackson Lee proposes bill to halt sequester; sole finalist for Texas Tech presidency named

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New in The Texas Tribune

•    Lawmakers Seeing Possibilities on Medicaid Expansion: "News that the federal government has negotiated with Arkansas to allow that state to use billions of dollars in Medicaid funds to buy private health insurance for the state's poorest residents has some Texas Republicans intrigued."

•    Restoring Family Planning Cuts Without Ruffling Feathers: "Republican legislators have proposed adding $100 million to a state-run primary care program specifically for women’s health services, which could avert a political fight over subsidizing specialty family planning clinics."

•    For Elected Judges, Facing Voters Without Heeding Political Urges: "For the elected judges on the state's highest civil court, the trick is to survive politically without thinking about politics — even on big political issues like school finance. But you know it crosses their minds. You can be a good judge. You can be a good politician. Can you be both?"

•    Bill Would Increase Punishment for Fatal Hit-and-Runs: "State Sens. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have filed a bill to increase the punishment for hit-and-run accidents that result in deaths."


•    Can Democrats Turn Texas and Arizona Blue by 2016? (FiveThirtyEight): "How worried should Republicans be? And how realistic are those Democratic aspirations? A new study released on Thursday — based on data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey — points toward some answers: Republicans should be worried, but Democrats in Austin and Phoenix shouldn’t stock up on confetti just yet."

•    Sheila Jackson Lee proposes plan to halt ‘irresponsible’ sequester cuts (Houston Chronicle): "Saying that both parties dislike the $85 billion in automatic cuts triggered by the sequester, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee joined three liberal House Democrats today in proposing a bill that would remove the requirements for these cuts. 'Sequestration is one of the most irresponsible pieces of legislation of our time,' Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said in a Friday statement."

•    Duane Nellis named sole finalist for Texas Tech presidency (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal): "M. Duane Nellis, president at the University of Idaho, is the sole finalist for the Texas Tech presidency, following a meeting of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents on Friday in Abilene."

•    The number of New Yorkers migrating to Texas grows (Houston Chronicle): "A growing number of New Yorkers have been moving away from the city lights to Texas' wide open spaces, with the largest spike in the Houston area."

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