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The Evening Brief: April 3, 2013

Your evening reading: UT regent didn't disclose lawsuits; Perry suggests link between border security and DA killings; Senate approves CPRIT reform bills

The Main Building of The University of Texas at Austin.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    UT Regent Hall Failed to Disclose Lawsuits: "University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall didn't disclose a long history of courtroom battles before his Senate confirmation two years ago, a lapse that prompted some lawmakers to say they feel misled. Hall says he will provide the information now, but key lawmakers say they should have had it in hand two years ago."

•    TEA Advisory Panels Didn't Recommend A-F School Ratings: "Two Texas Education Agency advisory panels opposed a plan to move the state to an A through F school ratings system, a plan that Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Tuesday."

•    Senate Approves CPRIT Reform Legislation: "The Texas Senate unanimously approved two bills on Wednesday to reform the beleaguered Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas amid continuing controversy over grant awards."

•    Project Explores Effect of Family-Planning Cuts Across Texas: "A new website and database released by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project explores the impact of cuts made in 2011 to state family-planning services, breaking down information on the county and district level."

•    Data App: Ethics Explorer: With the addition of more than a dozen statewide elected officials to our Lawmaker Explorer — including Attorney General Greg Abbott and Comptroller Susan Combs and the state's railroad commissioners and Supreme Court justices — we're renaming it the Ethics Explorer. 


•    Rick Perry: Border security key in Texas DA murders (Politico): "Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday raised the issue of border security in regard to the recent murders of two state prosecutors. … 'We know the drug cartels are very, very active in our country now. It goes back … to the whole issue of border security and the failure of the federal government to put the men and women, whether they are military or whether they’re border patrol or whether working with the local law enforcement, expend the dollars necessary to secure the border with Mexico,' Perry said on Fox News."

•    Rick Perry on why North Korea targets Texas (Politico): "According to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, North Korea’s threats directed at Austin could just be another form of flattery. 'Economically, what has happened in Texas over the course of the last decade has made this city an epicenter for a lot of technology, a lot of economic development,' the Republican said in an interview posted on on Wednesday. 'And I think the individuals in North Korea understand that Austin, Texas, is now a very important city in America, as do corporate CEOs and other people who are moving here in record numbers.'"

•    Feds give Texas $31.2 million for 2011 wildfires (Austin American-Statesman): "The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given Texas $31.2 million to help cover the costs of devastating wildfires that spread across the state during a historic drought in 2011. The federal agency says the funds cover the costs of labor, equipment, materials, air support, meals and lodging. The funding covers about 75 percent of the costs of covering the widespread wildfires that blackened chunks of the state."

•    Official: 'We aren't close to charging anyone' in killing of Texas DA (CNN): "As investigators search for leads in the slayings of a prosecutor and his wife that have put a Texas county on edge, authorities say a man called in a threat to a tip line, naming a county official as the next victim."

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