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The Evening Brief: March 12, 2013

Your evening reading: George P. Bush announces candidacy for land commissioner; Senate panel approves prosecutor accountability bill; Dewhurst trying to woo major gun manufacturer to Texas

George P. Bush

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Video: George P. Bush Announces Bid for Land Commissioner: "George P. Bush told state election officials Tuesday he will run for land commissioner in 2014. He had previously filed papers required for anyone raising campaign funds in the state, but hadn’t officially specified what office he might seek."

•    Panel Approves Bill to Increase Prosecutor Accountability: "A day after the premiere of a documentary about his tragic wrongful conviction, exoneree Michael Morton sat before a Senate panel and pleaded with them to approve a law that would ensure accountability for prosecutors."

•    Dewhurst Tries to Lure Gun Manufacturer to Texas: "As gun control discussions heat up at the state and federal level, it's open season on firearm manufacturers' business. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is hoping to bag Beretta USA — currently based in Maryland — and bring it to Texas."

•    Blue Cross Launches Statewide Campaign for Insurance Exchange: "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the state's largest health insurance provider, is launching a campaign aimed at getting Texans enrolled in health plans through an online marketplace created by federal health reform."

•    With Deadline Looming, House Sends Medicaid IOU Bill to Perry: "House members unanimously approved a bill largely devoted to addressing a shortfall in Medicaid. Health providers for poor children and the disabled in Texas won't get paid starting Thursday unless Gov. Rick Perry signs the bill soon."

•    Impact of Medicaid Expansion on State Budget Examined: "As state legislators consider what 'a Texas solution' to Medicaid expansion would look like, others have begun addressing the question of how Medicaid expansion would affect the state budget and local taxes."

•    Bills Aim to Help Universities Fund Veteran Program: "Two lawmakers have filed legislation that would allocate state funding for education programs that exempt veterans or their dependents from tuition payments."


•    Texas GOP Chairman expects competitive primaries in 2014 (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri said Saturday that he expects hard-fought campaigns next year for statewide offices. Munisteri said that Republicans are victims of their own success, with a roster of quality candidates waiting for an opportunity to reach higher office. 'We have a group of elected officials that will eventually have to move up or move out,' Munisteri said before a Denton County GOP fund-raiser."

•    RG3 in the House (and Senate) (Austin American-Statesman): "Former Baylor University quarterback Robert Lee Griffin III, better known as RG3, was swarmed by excited House and Senate members this morning during a visit to the State Capitol."

•    Study shows drones would bring economic growth to Texas (Houston Chronicle): "The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International,the country’s largest trade group for drones, predicts that the industry will produce over 100,000 jobs with an economic impact of $82 billion by 2025. The integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the U.S. National Airspace System is scheduled to take place in 2015, and will bring with it jobs and economic growth for Texas."

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