The Evening Brief: May 17, 2013
Your evening reading: budget deal reached; Gonzalez says she'll seek re-election; debate over end-of-life bill gets personal
New in The Texas Tribune
• Budget Leaders Reach Budget Deal: "After days of negotiations, House and Senate representatives agreed to a budget plan that will add roughly $4 billion in extra funding to public education. It also paves the way for a $2 billion fund for water infrastructure projects."
• Gonzalez Says She Will Seek Re-election: "State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso, said on Friday she intends to seek another term in the Texas House, despite her pending drunk driving case."
• End-of-Life Bill Sparks Anger, Accusations: "Texas Right to Life is working overtime to defeat a measure supporters say would improve state laws governing end-of-life medical decisions. With time running out, the fight over the legislation has shifted from political to personal."
• House, Senate Clash Over Dutton Bill Resolved: "Friday morning's clash between the House and Senate appears to be water under the bridge. Lawmakers in the upper chamber said it was a tussle over a local Houston matter — but that they're working to resolve it."
• "Merry Christmas Bill" Heads to Governor: "The Senate passed a House bill that would allow teachers and other public school staff to use holiday greetings like 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Hanukkah' and to display Christmas trees, menorahs and other cultural icons of winter celebrations."
• House Approves Craft Brewing Overhaul: "A raft of bills that would dramatically alter the way beer is sold and consumed in Texas won tentative approval from the House on Friday after a lengthy and disputatious process between brewers and beer distributors."
• Infrastructure Constraints Loom as Texas Grows: "Texas’ drought and water-supply problems have captured headlines. But with the state’s rapid population growth projected to continue, other infrastructure problems also loom, including clogged roads and a strained power grid."
• Seeking Bipartisanship in a Sharply Divided Town: "U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady and Pete Gallego are from different political parties, but they are united in trying to bring a little bipartisanship to the Texas delegation. They have scheduled a breakfast next week to discuss ways to forge a common agenda for the state."
• Blogger apologizes for gay slur, deletes anonymous account (San Antonio Express-News): "A conservative blogger with close ties to an influential limited-government group in Austin used gay slurs towards another Republican strategist and lawmakers on both his personal account and an anonymous account. The anonymous account since has been deleted."
• Grudge against Huffman kills bill to help amputees (The Dallas Morning News): "A bill to create an exoneration commission to study false convictions and see if the state should correct the criminal justicy system has led to a House-Senate war. Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, is a former judge and prosecutor who opposes the bill. She said she believes the state has done enough with reforms already passed dealing with DNA evidence, rules on discovery, suspect line-ups and other actions."
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