• John Cornyn opens new front in immigration fight (The Washington Examiner): "Some opponents of the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill are giving poor reviews to a new move by Republican Sen. John Cornyn to toughen the legislation with more enforcement requirements. 'This amendment would change nothing of consequence,' writes Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies. 'It’s yet another attempt to dupe conservatives into excusing a vote for the Schumer-Rubio bill.'"
• Contrasting views emerge at Dallas redistricting hearing (The Dallas Morning News): "Opponents of the state’s interim electoral boundaries Thursday urged Texas lawmakers to support plans that create three congressional districts in North Texas that could be controlled by minority voters. The minority districts would include congressional districts 30 and 33, areas represented by Democrats Eddie Bernice Johnson and Marc Veasey."
• Redistricting hearing in the Rio Grande Valley up in the air (Houston Chronicle): "Senate redistricting chief Kel Seliger on Thursday floated the prospect of taking his election map committee to the Rio Grande Valley early next week for a field hearing — but only if he can get enough lawmakers to commit to show up. If that hearing happens, Seliger said it would be scheduled for Monday in Harlingen. But that’s still up in the air."
• Democrats say Texas Republicans 'should be ashamed of themselves' for voting to restart DREAMer deportations (Houston Chronicle): "As the Senate readies to debate an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws tomorrow, members of the Texas delegation stood divided by party lines as they debated two amendments that would restart deportations of DREAM Act-eligible youth and buttress border security."
New in The Texas Tribune
• Lawmakers Collect Daily Pay Even in Recess: "It doesn't feel much like there's a special session going on at the state Capitol, but that doesn't mean taxpayers won't get a bill for it. Lawmakers get paid whether they're here or not."
• State Chooses Study Over Money to Reduce Wait Times at Texas Ports: "Lawmakers and local officials from the Texas-Mexico border wanted funding to train more inspectors and speed up commerce at land ports. Instead, they got a study."
• Budget Plan for DPS Has Pay Hikes for Troopers: "The 2014-15 budget plan for the Texas Department of Public Safety doesn't include money for big-ticket items like gunboats or planes, but it does include money for troopers’ raises and retains funding for the agency’s fusion center."
• Some Lawmakers Make Sure to Look Out for No. 1: "Call it the self-preservation society. When push comes to shove, some members of the Texas Legislature are adamant that their elective offices should come with some special protections."