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The Evening Brief: April 4, 2013

Your evening reading: amid daylong debate, House opens door to Medicaid expansion negotiations; Perry offers reward in prosecutor murders; House committee passes school marshal bill

State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, votes to table an amendment on SB 1 state budget bill on April 4, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    A Voucher Showdown During Budget Debate: "After a brief but heated debate, a measure from state Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi, that would ban the use of public dollars for private schools passed the House 103-43 with bipartisan support."

•    House Opens Door to Medicaid Expansion Negotiations: "In the midst of debate on the 2014-15 budget, the House quietly approved an amendment on Thursday that would open the door to negotiations on expanding Medicaid, a key provision of federal health reform."

•    House Members Pulling Women's Health Amendments: "Amid Thursday's budget debate in the House, some Democratic and Republican members of the House have agreed to pull some divisive amendments related to women's health."

•    Budget Amendment Pits Arts Against Firefighters: "State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, has reprised an effort from last session to remove funds from the Texas Commission on the Arts and dedicate them to assisting volunteer firefighters."

•    UT Regent Defends Review of Law School Foundation: "University of Texas System Regent Bobby Stillwell explained to the Tribune why he disagrees with his colleague Alex Cranberg's assessment of the need for an external review of the UT Law School Foundation."


•    Texas Gov. Rick Perry offers new reward in prosecutor killings (CNN): "Calling the slayings of two Kaufman County prosecutors 'direct attacks on the core of our civil society,' Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a reward Thursday of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the killers. 'These are heinous crimes and they've affected not just Texans but people across the country who respect the rule of law,' Perry said at a news conference."

•    John Cornyn: Prosecutors should be permitted to carry concealed weapons in the workplace (Houston Chronicle): "In response to the recent killings of two Texas prosecutors, Texas Sen. John Cornyn is crafting legislation to allow prosecutors to carry firearms while at work. Cornyn sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder’s office on Wednesday requesting information on the concealed carry of firearms, noting that prosecutors could carry in courthouses but were exempt in places like their offices and parking facilities."

•    School marshal bill passes House committee (The Dallas Morning News): "Dallas Republican Rep. Jason Villalba got one of his signature bills out of committee on Wednesday — a proposal to put armed marshals in schools to help protect against violence."

•    Texas Senate panel approves shorter course for handgun license (The Dallas Morning News): "Legislation that would shorten the instructional time required to obtain a concealed handgun license in Texas won unanimous approval Thursday from the Senate Criminal Justice Committee."

•    Senate OKs bill requiring cameras in special ed classrooms (Houston Chronicle): "The Senate passed a measure Thursday that would require school districts to provide surveillance cameras in special education classrooms."

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