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The Evening Brief: March 19, 2013

Your evening reading: Perry says he'll decide this year on another presidential bid; Senate passes statewide term limits; House gives early OK to new South Texas university

Governor Rick Perry offers words of advice to new and veteran House members during a speech on the opening of the 83rd Legislative Session on January 8, 2013

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Video: Perry Says He'll Decide on Presidential Bid Late This Year: "In an interview with The Shark Tank, a Florida politics blog, Gov. Rick Perry said he would decide in June whether to run for re-election, then make his decision on a presidential bid 'sometime later in the year.'"

•    House Gives Early Approval to New South Texas University: "Members of the Texas House on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of a bill to create a new South Texas university that includes a medical school."

•    Abbott Backs Bill Requiring DNA Testing in Death-Penalty Cases: "Attorney General Greg Abbott is supporting a bill by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, that would require DNA testing of 'all biological evidence' in cases where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty."

•    Updated: Prosecutor Reveals Gun She Says Connects Norwood to 1986 Morton Murder: "The prosecution and defense gave opening statements in the murder trial of Mark Norwood. The prosecution discussed DNA evidence and a stolen pistol, while the defense told jurors to put their feelings aside and weigh the evidence."

•    Updated: Panel Discusses UT System Records Request: "Sen. Kel Seliger, who co-chairs the Legislature's joint higher education oversight committee, said UT regents should have access to the information they have requested, but the committee wants to make sure it is being gathered and used appropriately."

•    Updated: Panel Discusses Bill Allowing Sunday Liquor Sales: "As a House committee on Tuesday took up a bill that would allow Texas liquor stores to open their doors on Sundays, one member raised concerns about whether the legislation could make it easier for minors to access liquor."

•    Senate Panel Considers End-of-Life Bills: "A panel of state senators on Tuesday considered two bills that would take drastically different approaches to modifying laws regarding end-of-life care in Texas."


•    Texas Senate passes term limits for statewide officers (The Dallas Morning News): "The Texas Senate voted 28-3 to allow voters to decide whether statewide officeholders should be limited to two terms. The proposed amendment would not count the tenure of current officeholders towards the two-term limit."

•    Senate committee votes to ban gassing shelter animals (Houston Chronicle): "The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the use of carbon monoxide gas to euthanize shelter animals. Senate Bill 360 by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, will go to the full Senate for consideration. Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Harlingen, is carrying a similar bill in the House."

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