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The Evening Brief: June 10, 2013

Your evening reading: Perry signs major education bill, defends state budget; STAAR scores hold steady; Perry taking job-poaching campaign to New York

Gov. Rick Perry prepares to sign a series of education reform bills in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Perry Signs High School Curriculum, Testing Bill: "Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5 on Monday, ending weeks of speculation that he might veto the high-profile education legislation that adjusts high school graduation standards. The governor said the measure reflected an 'appropriate balance between a need for rigorous academics and flexibility' and had 'come a long way' to address the concerns of its critics."

•    Amid Criticism, Perry Defends State Budget: "Gov. Rick Perry is pushing back against conservative critics who say the state budget is growing too fast. Perry is still analyzing the budget legislation, but his defense of it was the clearest signal yet that he plans to sign the two-year, $197 billion appropriations bill into law."

•    Perry Takes Job Raid, Ad Buy to the Big Apple: "Gov. Rick Perry will start spreading the news of his state's strong economy to the Big Apple on Monday. A $1 million ad campaign, dwarfing previous buys in California and Illinois, is aimed at convincing businesses to bring jobs here."

•    Texas Reports "Stable" STAAR Testing Results: "After the second year of a new statewide assessment program, Texas students' scores on standardized tests remain roughly the same, according to new data released by the Texas Education Agency."

•    Early in Election Cycle, 2014 Ballot is All Red: "The 2014 election cycle is shaping up as a busy one, with open seats across the statewide ballot. Republicans are lining up fast for those spots, but so far, the Democratic side of the ballot is empty."

•    Focus on Border Aquifers Urged During Push for More Water From Mexico: "A water war between the U.S. and Mexico dominates headlines amid a drought farmers and ranchers have said is the worst in decades. But some experts caution that a larger issue is boiling beneath the surface: unregulated transnational aquifers that are being mined at a record pace."


•    Special session on redistricting questioned (Houston Chronicle): "Taking exception to statements by Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in an op-ed piece published Monday by the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Senate’s Democratic Caucus chairman filed a proposed change to the current Congressional redistricting plan, arguing that a Washington D.C. federal court had found it was drawn with 'discriminatory intent.'"

•    Democrats target Farenthold on Spanish-language radio for DREAMer deportation vote (Houston Chronicle): "Democrats are trying to exact a political price for Texas Republicans’ votes to restart deportations of so-called 'DREAMers' — the children illegally brought into the U.S. by their parents. The target of the latest ad buy is Corpus Christi Rep. Blake Farenthold, who was one of 23 Texas Republicans to favor the measure by Iowa Rep. Steve King enacted by the House last week."

•    Report: AT&T led the way in 2013 Lege lobby spending (San Antonio Express-News): "Corporations, local Texas governments and a variety of special interest groups spent up to $328 million lobbying the Legislature through mid-May, an almost 9 percent dip compared to the same time during the 2011 session, according to a state watchdog group."

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