New in The Texas Tribune
• On Austin Visit, Obama Sings City's Praises: "President Obama said Thursday that Austin was the perfect spot to kick off his 'Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity' tour because the city was doing so many things right economically. Obama visited Manor New Tech High School and is also scheduled to visit a pair of Austin companies, Applied Materials and Capital Factory."
• Abbott: Spending Limit Includes Rainy Day Fund: "Spending from the state's Rainy Day Fund does, in fact, count against a constitutional limit on growth in the state budget, Attorney General Greg Abbott advised on Thursday."
• Staples to Rubio: Reform Bill Contains the "Ultimate Amnesty Provision": "A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is akin to rewarding lawbreakers, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples wrote Thursday in a letter to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla."
• Lobbyist Transparency Bill Heads to Perry's Desk: "A transparency bill that would require lobbyists to disclose the names of lawmakers who pay them using campaign funds for services, including political consulting, is headed to Gov. Rick Perry's desk."
• Time Running Out for Cellphone Tracking Bill: "The House clock may not be on the side of a bill to regulate the use of cellphone records in law enforcement investigations."
• Texas Democrats hail Obama for investing in innovation, research (Houston Chronicle): "There may be more Republicans than Democrats in Texas, but Texas Democrats were as enthusiastic about President Obama’s visit to the state as Republicans were dismissive. Texas Democratic lawmakers matched their Republican colleagues in steadfast enthusiasm for their home state’s booming economy, but not the GOP lawmakers unalterable opposition to the president’s economic proposals."
• In Senate, Efforts to Reshape, or Derail, Immigration Bill (The New York Times): "The Senate Judiciary Committee began considering on Thursday more than 300 amendments intended to reshape — and, in some cases, even derail — legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. … Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, in his opening remarks acknowledged that the Democratic majority had the power to vote down Republican amendments, but implored his colleagues to consider all measures with an open mind."
• Gun license training cut in half (The Dallas Morning News): "Classroom instruction to obtain a concealed handgun license was cut from at least 10 hours to no more than six hours under a bill on its way to the governor."
• House OK’s guns in locked cars on campuses (San Antonio Express-News): "A bill to require higher education institutions to allow guns and ammunition to be locked in vehicles parked on campus was approved by the Texas House Thursday."
• Texas drivers will soon use smart phones for insurance ID (The Dallas Morning News): "Legislation allowing Texas drivers to prove their insurance coverage with a wireless communications device is on its way to the governor after winning final approval from the Senate on Thursday."