The Evening Brief: April 26, 2013
Your evening reading: House OKs budget bill after wide-ranging debate; Castro, Wolfowitz pen op-ed in support of gay marriage; lawyers defend Lehmberg
New in The Texas Tribune
• House Backs $875 Million Budget Bill After Hot Debate: "A debate in the Texas House on a supplemental budget bill Friday veered into debates on the Travis County district attorney's drunken driving charge and the murder of two Kaufman County prosecutors."
• Galveston Still Healing 5 Years After Hurricane Ike: "Hurricane Ike rammed into the Texas coast in 2008, causing more than $50 billion in damage. Nowhere was the impact more evident than Galveston. The city still faces challenges related to Ike, but many leaders are optimistic about rebuilding efforts."
• Cash for Road Repair in Shale Areas Proves Elusive: "Efforts by state lawmakers to find money to repair South and West Texas roads torn up amid a drilling boom appear to be stalling, according to some officials working on the matter. Officials warn about the hazards of not maintaining these roads."
• Texas Prosecutors No Longer Unassailable: "One of the most exalted elected positions in Texas politics — that of the law-and-order district attorney — doesn't come with as much job security as it used to. District attorneys in some of the state's biggest counties are fighting for their jobs."
• A Push to Ensure Free Breakfast for the State's Poorest Students: "A bill in the Legislature could result in as many as 731,000 additional children in Texas receiving free breakfasts through their schools. Nutrition activists have praised the measure, which makes breakfast free for all students in schools where 80 percent of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price meals."
• Julián Castro and Paul Wolfowitz: Political support grows for same-sex marriage (Houston Chronicle): "We stand together, the Democratic mayor of San Antonio and a senior appointee in three Republican presidential administrations, united in our support for the freedom to marry and an end to the discrimination caused by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which treats one legally married couple differently from another."
• Texas lawmakers pushing back on Gov. Perry in 2013 (The Associated Press): "Gov. Rick Perry revved up for a presidential bid in 2011 by showing the country who's boss in Texas: He slashed spending, tightened abortion restrictions and declared illegal immigration a state emergency. He's not calling the shots anymore. A year after Perry's run for the White House flamed out, the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature is showing signs of defiance in a series of votes that push back against Perry's authority — a poke in the eye of the 12-year governor."
• Lawyers voice support for Lehmberg (Austin American-Statesman): "More than 170 Texas lawyers filed a brief Thursday in support of jailed Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Austin criminal defense attorney Betty Blackwell said that Lehmberg, who pleaded guilty April 19 to driving while intoxicated, has received a harsh sentence of 45 days in jail, a $4,000 fine and a 180-day drivers license suspension."
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