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The Evening Brief: April 29, 2013

Your evening reading: Cruz knocks GOP Senate colleagues; Abbott says domestic partner benefits violate state Constitution; major water bill hits the House floor

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz is welcomed at LaRue Tactical, a gun manufacturer in Leander, by founders Ellen LaRue, center, and Mark LaRue, right, on Feb. 19, 2013.


•    Cruz Breaks With Senate Tradition While Criticizing Colleagues (The New York Times): "In his short time at the Capitol, Senator Ted Cruz, a freshman Republican from Texas, has shown little regard for long-standing rules of decorum. But on Friday, he publicly discussed the closed-door dealings of the Senate Republican Conference — and trashed his colleagues in the process. Stopping by a Texas meeting of the Tea Party-aligned group FreedomWorks, Mr. Cruz called many of his colleagues 'squishes,' forced to stand on conservative principles by the uncompromising stands of a triumphant trio of Republican 'constitutionalists': himself and Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky."

•    Guns on campus bill scheduled for Texas House vote (The Associated Press): "One of the top pro-gun bills before Texas lawmakers this session was green-lighted Monday for a House floor vote this weekend, and a top backer predicted approval there for the plan to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry their handguns into college classrooms. The Calendars Committee scheduled the floor vote for Saturday in the House. Getting the bill even that far is a significant development for supporters of an issue that erupted into one of the most contentious of the session two years ago. In 2011, the issue died without a vote in the House despite a majority of member signing on in support."

•    Ron Paul slams Boston 'occupation' (Politico): "Former Rep. Ron Paul said the police response to the Boston Marathon bombings was scarier than the bombing itself, which killed three and wounded more than 250. 'The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,' Paul, a Texas Republican, wrote today on the website of the libertarian writer Lew Rockwell."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Debate Over Water Bill Could Spur Bigger Fight: "A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era. As some conservative activists are urging supporters to express opposition to the bill, Gov. Rick Perry has voiced his support for the measure."

•    AG: Domestic Partner Benefits Violate Texas Constitution: "The Texas Constitution prohibits government entities from recognizing domestic partnerships and offering those couples insurance benefits, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in an opinion on Monday."

•    Houstonians Launch Campaign Against Perry, UT Regents: "Three prominent Houstonians have launched a campaign accusing Gov. Rick Perry and some University of Texas System regents of being 'intent on tearing down" UT-Austin's status as a 'university of the first class.'"

•    The Political Hazards of Changing High School Standards: "Voters asked lawmakers to cut down on the high-stakes standardized tests in schools and to replace some of the budget cuts made in 2011. Will they soon be asking why lawmakers made it easier to get a high school diploma?"

•    Lawmakers Attempt to Change Truancy Laws: "Some parents and advocacy organizations say the state’s truancy laws are too harsh. The Senate passed a bill last week to change these laws, compromising with judges and district officials who said the reforms were too broad."

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