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The Evening Brief: April 5, 2013

Your evening reading: behind-the-scenes details of House budget debate emerging; A&M student body president vetoes "religious funding exemption" bill; Obama monitoring DA murder cases, White House says

TribLive at the Austin Club with state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, Jan 22, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    For Budget Vote, House Had a Women's Health Negotiator: "One lawmaker is getting much of the credit for restoring family planning funding to the House budget without the usual floor fight: state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place."

•    A House Less Susceptible to Political Stampedes: "In 2011, state lawmakers fresh from a Tea Party election surge were hypersensitive to the opinions of and instructions from conservative activists. But as Thursday's House budget debate showed, this session isn't quite the same."

•    Agenda Texas: Behind the Scenes of the Budget Debate: "On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: While there was plenty of action on the floor as the House debated a budget bill on Thursday, we took a look at the work being done outside of the chamber."

•    Forensic Science Commission Reviews DPS Lab Trouble: "The Texas Forensic Science Commission has concluded that the potential reversal of thousands of drug convictions by the Court of Criminal Appeals is due to a DPS employee's incompetence, but that not all of the drug samples are necessarily compromised."

•    Reluctance to Expansion of Health Care in Texas Has a Familiar Ring: "If the state government's resistance to expanding Medicaid sounds familiar, it's because something like this happened when George W. Bush was governor, and lawmakers were debating the Children's Health Insurance Program. One side saw free money that could be put to immediate good. The other saw a mouse trap under all that cheese."

•    Texas Deer Breeders Want Fewer State Regulations: "Texas deer breeders say that excessive oversight from Texas Parks and Wildlife is constraining their industry. Supported by the Texas Deer Association, several bills would make major changes to deer breeding across the state."

•    TribLive: A Conversation With the Castro Brothers: Full video of Evan Smith's 4/2 TribLive conversation with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.


•    Texas A&M student body president to veto 'Religious Funding Exemption Bill' (Bryan-College Station Eagle): "Texas A&M student body president John Claybrook has vetoed legislation from the student senate aimed at letting students opt out of funding the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Resource Center, or other university services, based on religious grounds. News this week that some student senators had targeted the center thrust the traditionally conservative university into the national spotlight, and Claybrook said it was time to 'stop the bleeding.'"

•    White House: Obama keeping tabs on Kaufman DA slaying case (The Dallas Morning News): "President Obama is monitoring the effort to find the killer or killers of two Kaufman County prosecutors. 'He has been briefed about it. Obviously a matter like this is always of concern,' White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters as the president returned home from San Francisco, after a two-day trip that included a push in Denver for new measures to reduce gun violence."

•    Texas Congressman Marc Veasey says redistricting tussle could play out over the summer (The Dallas Morning News): "Just before recording a segment for WFAA (Channel 8) Inside Texas Politics, Rep. Marc Veasey said he didn’t expect any movement on congressional redistricting until the summer. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court is determining whether it’s necessary to have a Voting Rights Act provision requiring states like Texas to have federal approval of electoral boundaries."

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