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The Evening Brief: May 31, 2013

Your evening reading: Perry open to adding items to special session agenda; Texas man questioned over ricin letters; House redistricting chief considering hearings outside Austin

Gov. Rick Perry in the House chamber on May 19, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Perry Open to Expanding Special Session Agenda: "Gov. Rick Perry told reporters Friday that he is leaving open the possibility of adding more items to the agenda of the special legislative session, but he wants to first see specific proposals that have a chance of passing."

•    Will Perry Run Again? And if So, for What?: "Robert Black, a former aide to Gov. Rick Perry, has some advice for people who think they can predict the governor's next political move: 'For those out there trying to read the tea leaves, don’t. Because you’re probably going to be wrong.'"

•    Sharper Elbows in a Special Session: "The comity of the regular session might disappear in a special session: The rules change to the disadvantage of the Democrats, and the agenda changes to the advantage of the governor. The newly disadvantaged could also include a prominent Republican leader: House Speaker Joe Straus."

•    New Animal Law is Welcome but Expensive: "Legislators made Texas the 21st state to prohibit the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals that have not been claimed or adopted. But switching to the only legal method, lethal injection, could be costly for some."


•    Texas man investigated over ricin letters to Obama, Bloomberg (Reuters): "U.S. authorities are investigating a Texas man over threatening letters containing a deadly poison mailed to U.S. President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a law enforcement official said on Friday."

•    House redistricting chief talks election maps (San Antonio Express-News): "Rep. Drew Darby, the House redistricting chief, took questions today from several reporters after the lower chamber’s Select Committee on Redistricting wrapped up its first hearing of the special session. … Darby is currently considering whether to hold a limited set of field hearings over Texas’ election maps in some of the state’s larger metropolitan areas."

•    Perry: Wording ‘clear’ of special session call (Austin American-Statesman): "As legislative leaders continued to argue over the wording of Gov. Rick Perry’s order calling them into a special session, the governor provided little help Friday in answering their questions. 'The intent of the call was very clear,' Perry said at a morning event at Austin Bergstrom International Airport to showcase the state’s emergency readiness at the start of the hurricane season."

•    Income-Based Diversity Lags at Some Universities (The New York Times): "Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is money."

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