The Evening Brief: May 29, 2013
Your evening reading: Combs' retirement announcement sets off 2014 scramble; redistricting lawyers recommend keeping state Senate maps; court ruling could shake up state water plan
New in The Texas Tribune
• Comptroller Susan Combs Won't Seek Re-election: "Comptroller Susan Combs announced Wednesday that she will not seek re-election and that she is retiring from public office at the end of her term in 2015. Combs, who had been positioning herself to run for lieutenant governor, will not run for that post or other elective office. … Among the Republicans said to be eyeing that job are former gubernatorial contender Debra Medina, Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Harvey Hilderbran of Kerrville and former state Rep. Raul Torres of Corpus Christi. … Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands and a CPA, sent out a press release on Wednesday saying he is also exploring a possible run."
• Redistricting Lawyers: Keep the Senate Maps for 2014: "Redistricting lawyers from all sides — the state and the parties suing the state — told a federal court Wednesday that maps used to elect the Texas Senate in 2012 are acceptable to them and could be adopted without objection."
• Court Ruling Could Lead to Shakeup of Water Plan: "Just as Gov. Rick Perry and lawmakers finalize plans to spend $2 billion on water-supply projects around the state, a court decision could force Texas to rethink its water-planning process."
• Despite Lawmakers' Concerns, UT Regent's Requests Continue: "Lawmakers have expressed concerns about the investigative approach of the University of Texas System Board of Regents. But based on a request made this week, at least one regent appears undeterred."
• Interactive: How Perry Uses His Veto Power: As the longest-serving Texas governor, Rick Perry has vetoed his share of bills — 275 of them since taking office in December 2000. Use our interactive to see the history of Perry's veto power.
• Fort Worth Floats Idea of Privatizing Water Services: "The city of Fort Worth has appointed a task force to see whether the city might save money by putting some of its water services in public-private partnerships. Experts say a number of issues could arise if such partnerships are instituted."
• Grimm Will Skip Cruz Dinner, Rips NYC Dems for Attack (New York Daily News): "Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) will not a attend New York Republican Party fundraiser Wednesday where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will speak, Grimm’s office said."
• Exxon rejects gay-discrimination ban (The Associated Press): "By a 4-to-1 ratio, shareholders defeated a resolution to explicitly ban discrimination against gays. The Exxon board had argued that the company already banned discrimination of any type and didn't need to add language regarding gays."
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