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The Evening Brief: April 25, 2013

Your evening reading: bipartisan ceremony marks dedication of Bush library; Obama honors victims of West blast at Waco service; equal-pay bill sparks gender debate

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•    Convergence of Presidents at Bush Library Dedication (The New York Times): "Standing in front of the magisterial brick-and-limestone George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday, Bill Clinton summed up the day with a knowing smile. 'I told President Obama,' he said, 'that this was the latest, grandest example of the eternal struggle of former presidents to rewrite history.' … They alluded to the American wars there by praising Mr. Bush’s deep concern for wounded soldiers and the families of those killed in combat, but put aside for a day the arguments over how the wars were conducted, why they were waged and what they accomplished. 'One of the benefits of freedom is that people can disagree,' Mr. Bush told a crowd of thousands on a bright Texas day. 'It’s fair to say I created plenty of opportunities to exercise that right.'"

•    George W. Bush Presidential Center Headlines Former presidents offer bipartisan salute as Bush Center is dedicated (The Dallas Morning News): "A rare conclave of five presidents, bonded by pressures and crises others can only imagine, joined arms Thursday to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Center, making Dallas the nation’s political epicenter. With gentle nods to rivalry and disagreements past and current, they celebrated the nation’s 43d commander-in-chief – the strength he projected, and the devotion he poured into the job. Amid a bright spring sunshine and under extraordinary security, they hailed bipartisanship and resolve."

•    Former first lady Laura Bush: 'A presidential library is not just about one president' (The Dallas Morning News): "Former first lady Laura Bush – a former librarian who shaped nearly every part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center – said Thursday that 'a presidential library is not just about one president.' But as she reflected on the fact that 'each library is about our nation and the world during that time,' she also said she couldn’t help being reminded of her husband, George W. Bush, and 'how steadfast and steady he was for eight years.'"

•    U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions bristles at Obama’s immigration push during Bush Center dedication (The Dallas Morning News): "Even as U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions joined the chorus cheering the bipartisan nature of the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s dedication, the Dallas Republican bristled at President Barack Obama’s brief immigration push. 'I wish the president had spoken more about George Bush and the things he accomplished,' Sessions, chairman of the House Rules committee, said after the ceremony at Southern Methodist University."

•    Thousands honor fallen first responders at Waco service (Waco Tribune-Herald): "President Obama is speaking, first thanking the community. 'We may not all live here in Texas, but we’re neighbors, too. We are Americans, too. And we stand with you and will not forget, and we’ll be there even after the cameras leave and after the attention turns elsewhere,' Obama said. 'Your country will remain ever ready to help you recover and rebuild and reclaim your community.'"

•    License plate flippers, beware (Houston Chronicle): "Spy movies aside, Sen. Carlos Uresti said there’s no good reason to have a license-plate flipper. So he’s working to ban the devices, which allow drivers to quickly flip from one plate to another, presumably to prevent a car from being identified. The Texas Senate approved the San Antonio Democrat’s bill to make it a misdemeanor to make or have a flipper with a vote of 28-0. Senate Bill 1757 goes to the House for consideration."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Labor Bill Spurs Gender Discrimination Debate in House: "A debate over equal-pay legislation in the Texas House on Thursday sparked a suggestion that a vote against the labor bill would be a vote against equality for men and women."

•    Legislators Seek Action on Medicaid Fraud Measures: "After the discovery that the state spent millions of dollars on fraudulent Medicaid dental care, lawmakers have filed a handful of bills to reform how Texas addresses the issue. Among the legislation is a plan to strengthen the power of investigators. But progress on those measures hasn't exactly been as swift as some would like."

•    Senate Backs Limits on Subsidies for Event Trust Funds: "Promoters say tax subsidies are needed to lure events that otherwise wouldn't be held in Texas. Critics say the practice is corporate welfare. The Texas Senate on Thursday backed legislation that keeps the subsidies going but with new restrictions and oversight."

•    House Backs Bill Limiting Mail-In Ballot Collection: "The Texas House tentatively approved a measure that would make it a class A misdemeanor for a person to collect and deposit 10 or more mail-in ballots from other voters during an election."

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