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The Evening Brief: April 2, 2013

Your evening reading: Cruz's plans for South Carolina speech stir speculation; Williams says state will move to A-F grading system for schools; House lawmakers question CPRIT Foundation's decision to rebrand

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz outlines his objections to Medicaid expansion in Texas at a Capitol press conference on April 1, 2013.


•    Cruz to test 2016 waters with South Carolina trip (CNN): "He’s been in Washington only three months, but U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is already planning a pilgrimage to a critical presidential primary state. The outspoken Cruz, a conservative attorney who has sprinted headlong into the Washington media spotlight since his election last November, will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Republican Party's Silver Elephant Dinner, CNN has learned.

•    McCown stepping down as conservative Lege’s feistiest nag (The Dallas Morning News): "Former state District Judge Scott McCown of Austin will resign as executive director of the center-left think tank the Center for Public Policy Priorities by Aug. 1, the center announced Tuesday. Founded by Catholic nuns with proceeds of their sale of a hospital in Boerne, Tex., the center has emerged as the most persistent — and well-informed — scold of the state’s increasingly conservative Legislature over the past dozen years."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    TEA Chief: Texas Moving to A-F Grades for Schools: "Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams told senators Tuesday that the state intends to move forward with developing an A through F public school accountability rating system to take effect in 2014."

•    House Panel Questions CPRIT Nonprofit's Move to Rebrand: "House lawmakers on Tuesday questioned the decision by the foundation affiliated with the beleaguered Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to cut ties with the agency and reconstitute itself as the Texas Cancer Coalition."

•    CPRIT Nonprofit Board Members Resign: "Three members of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas oversight committee who served on the nonprofit’s board have resigned in the last month amid continuing controversy over grant awards."

•    Interactive Map: Texas Wastewater Disposal: Use our interactive map to see more than 7,000 sites across Texas where wastewater from oil and gas operations is being disposed of. Enter your ZIP code to find disposal wells near you.

•    T-Squared: Building a Better Map: "Maps have always been an important part of the Tribune's offerings, but today they take a leap forward by becoming bigger, nimbler, smarter and embeddable."

•    Graffiti Sentencing Reform Faces Uphill Fight in Legislature"Lawmakers will debate different approaches to graffiti in a House committee hearing on Tuesday. While some argue for less harsh punishments, others say tougher consequences are the way to reduce graffiti crimes."

•    Bill Would Limit Non-Transferable Sports, Concert Tickets: "A bill up for debate in a House committee on Tuesday would prohibit ticket brokers and live event venues from restricting how fans re-sell their tickets. Venues and sports teams have voiced opposition to the legislation, saying it protects scalpers, not consumers."

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