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The Evening Brief: May 30, 2013

Your evening reading: special session likely to last at least two more weeks; Patrick still weighing bid for lieutenant governor; Cruz won't rule out filibuster on immigration bill

Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, debates the congressional redistricting bill SB4 on the Senate floor on June 6, 2011.

Culled

•    Redistricting special session will last weeks (San Antonio Express-News): "Sen. Kel Seliger, the upper chamber’s redistricting chief during the special session, is hoping to get a bill outlining the state’s election maps on the Senate floor for a vote by June 15. 'That right now tentatively looks like our target date,' Seliger said during a minutes-long Senate session Thursday."

•    Patrick still eyeing lieutenant governor’s race (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. Dan Patrick said Thursday he’s still weighing whether to run for lieutenant governor. Patrick, a Houston Republican and talk-radio host, said he’s ruled out a bid for either comptroller or U.S. Senate."

•    On immigration, Sen. Ted Cruz coy on filibuster option (The Dallas Morning News): "Will Sen. Ted Cruz filibuster the immigration bill? He won’t rule out the possibility. Cruz danced carefully around the question of whether he’ll use a senator’s biggest gun to block the legislation when asked — twice — about his intentions Wednesday night".

New in The Texas Tribune

•    TxDOT May Sweeten Pot to Draw Private Funds to Projects: "Citing a lack of public funding, the Texas Transportation Commission voted Thursday to agree to consider changing its rules to allow it to share financial risk with the private sector on some toll projects."

•    Report: Immigrants' Economic Strength in Texas Increases: "The number of naturalized citizens in Texas is on the rise, as is the purchasing power and economic output of the state's native-born and immigrant Hispanic and Asian populations, according to an Immigration Policy Center report."

•    Fine-Dust Pollution in Houston Could Violate Federal Standards: "In Houston, air pollution worries usually are about ozone, but scientists are paying increasingly close attention to fine dust. It’s more dangerous than ozone, some say, and the EPA will soon decide whether Houston has too much."

•    To Finance State Roads, Legislature Backed More Tolls, Debt Over Cash: "While lawmakers came up short on funding for road construction and maintenance this session, several other bills made it to Gov. Rick Perry's desk that are expected to help Texas communities develop road projects."

•    Caucus Plants Seeds for Farm-to-Table Movement: "The bipartisan 'farm-to-table' caucus landed a couple of key victories in its first legislative session, laying the groundwork for its effort to help local agricultural businesses crop up across Texas. It's supporters include small-government Republicans and Democrats who want healthier food options for low-income urban communities."

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