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The Evening Brief: April 22, 2013

Your evening reading: Perry arrives in Illinois to tout Texas business; Obama to attend West memorial service; Straus selects budget negotiators

Gov. Rick Perry presenting the Governor's Award for Historic Preservation to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildland Firefighting Teams.


•    Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn: 'I'm certainly going to bring' the competition (The Associated Press): "Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrived in Illinois Monday on a determined mission to lure away the state’s businesses, blast its nagging financial problems and spark a little interstate rivalry with a simple message to Gov. Pat Quinn. 'I hope he enjoys the competition,' Perry told The Associated Press in a phone interview. 'I’m certainly going to bring it.'"

•    Obama to Attend Memorial Service for Victims of Texas Blast (The New York Times): "President Obama will attend a memorial service this week for the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Tex., in what will be his latest foray as the country’s comforter in chief. Mr. Obama, who spoke at emotional services for victims of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and the bombing at the Boston Marathon, will participate in a ceremony on Thursday at Baylor University in Waco. He will travel there after attending the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum outside Dallas on Thursday morning."

•    Gun rights backers outnumber protesters as Texans celebrate 1st, 2nd Amendments outside Ted Cruz’s office (Houston Chronicle): "It was a battle of the activists outside Sen. Ted Cruz’s Dallas office this weekend: The Texas senator’s Tea Party backers vs. President Obama’s Organizing for Action supporters. Organizing For Action, a grassroots advocacy group born out of Obama’s re-election campaign, first organized an event to protest the senator’s anti-gun control votes last week. Local tea-partiers got wind of the plans and organized their own counter protest. OFA carried signs condemning Cruz, saying 'shame on you' and 'we are the 90 percent.' Just down the road, the Tea Party waved Gadsden flags and pro-Second Amendment signs."

•    Barlow, Hecker join Dewhurst team (Austin American-Statesman): "With the legislative session more than two-thirds over, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst on Monday announced an updated structure of his communications team — a hint that he wants to ramp up his name ID after the last gavel falls."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Straus Picks Lead Budget Negotiators: "The House sent five members to negotiate a budget with the Senate Monday, with instructions to avoid anything that looks like it would expand the state's Medicaid program."

•    House Panel Hears Testimony on Climate Change: "At a House panel hearing Monday, witnesses largely agreed on the causes and magnitude of climate change, and they told legislators to speed up consideration of how to deal with the results of a warming climate."

•    Will Perry Stay or Go?: "Gov. Rick Perry, in office since December 2000, won't say until June whether he wants to run for another term in 2014. Almost everybody in Texas politics is waiting as if their futures depend on it."

•    Optometrists Seek Negotiating Power With Health Insurers: "Texas optometrists are lobbying the Legislature for more power to negotiate contracts with health insurance companies, and the measure they are supporting could hit consumers’ wallets, some business advocates say."

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