The Evening Brief: June 20, 2013
Your evening reading: House advances redistricting maps; Pitts pushing to impeach UT System regent; House lawmaker hoping to revive "preborn pain" measure
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• Redistricting Maps Draw Amendments in House: "The Texas House tentatively approved congressional and state Senate district maps with no changes, after passing a House district map with some tweaks. The congressional map was approved 93-48. The Senate map was approved 117-23. Both maps will go to Gov. Rick Perry's desk if they win final approval in the House."
• Pitts Working to Impeach Controversial UT System Regent: "The House's chief budget writer and a longstanding critic of the University of Texas System regents is attempting to launch impeachment proceedings against University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall."
• House Legislator Plans to Bring Back "Preborn Pain" Bill: "State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, said she hopes to add a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation back to Senate Bill 5, the Senate's omnibus abortion bill, if her companion measure, House Bill 60, passes this weekend."
• Special Session Goals Unfinished as End Draws Near: "With less than a week left in what has become a complicated special session, Texas lawmakers have yet to cross off anything on their to-do list"
• Speculation Mounts as Decision Nears for Perry: "It's virtually impossible to predict what Rick Perry will do, but speculation is mounting that he won't run for re-election. The chatter is on the upswing now that the governor has said he will make his intentions known before July 1."
• Interactive: Mapping Hispanic Population Growth in Texas: The U.S. Census Bureau last week released its latest set of national population estimates. According to the data, six more Texas counties became majority Hispanic in 2012. Use our interactive to explore population growth by county.
• UT/TT Poll: Texans Split on Permissibility of Abortions: "Texas voters remain split on the permissibility of abortion but favor banning the procedure after 20 weeks of a pregnancy, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll."
• Immigration: Senate rejects Cornyn border plan in favor of even costlier Corker/Hoeven deal (The Dallas Morning News): "The Senate rejected Sen. John Cornyn’s plan to beef up border security as part of a broader immigration package. This afternoon’s vote was 54-43, with most Democrats and all GOP members of the bipartisan Gang of Eight joining forces to shoot down a plan that immigrant advocates viewed as a 'poison pill.'"
• Border Deal by 2 in G.O.P. Lifts Chances of Immigration Bill (The New York Times): "Two Senate Republicans reached an agreement on Thursday on a plan to strengthen border security with the bipartisan group of eight senators that drafted an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, raising hopes that the new deal could build Republican support for the immigration legislation being debated on the Senate floor."
• Lawmaker’s bid to restore public corruption unit’s money has House GOP leaders’ tacit support (The Dallas Morning News): "Rep. Sylvester Turner may be a Democrat but his crusade to restore the money that Gov. Rick Perry erased from a public corruption investigations unit has support of at least some House GOP leaders. 'I’m for it,' Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said Thursday afternoon."
• 'Battleground Texas' plans D.C. fundraiser (Politico): "The Democratic group aiming to transform Texas into a swing state will hold its first Washington, D.C. fundraiser early next month, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO."
• Tax-free weekend moves a week earlier across Texas (Houston Chronicle): "Texas' tax-free weekend is moving to a new weekend this year, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11. It was originally set for Aug. 16 through Aug. 18 but a change by the Texas legislature moved it one week earlier."
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