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The Evening Brief: July 9, 2013

Your evening reading: House shooting down amendments to abortion bill as debate continues; Davis, Planned Parenthood begin statewide bus tour; Pauken challenges "divine right of succession"

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, holds her bill book on HB 2 during long debate on amendment #9 July 9, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    House Debates Proposed Abortion Regulations: "With a packed gallery filled mostly with abortion opponents overlooking the proceedings, the full House began a new round of debate Tuesday on proposed abortion regulations in Texas."

•    Pauken: There is No Divine Right of Succession: "For those who are already declaring that Attorney General Greg Abbott will be Gov. Rick Perry’s successor, former Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken has a clear message. 'This idea that there’s a divine right of succession, I challenge it and thoroughly,' the gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday in a Capitol news conference. 'This is a real battle for the soul of the Republican Party between the outsiders and the people that feel they don’t have a real voice in Austin.'"

•    Guest Column: Border Security Measures Will Harm Texas: "Fixing our immigration system and uniting families is the right thing to do. Sacrificing our border communities and economy by creating one of the most militarized borders in the world — as the U.S. Senate's immigration bill calls for — is not."

•    Pension Changes to Benefit 10 in State's Congressional Delegation: "A vote by the Texas Legislature to raise state district judges' salaries will benefit lawmakers whose state pensions are based on the judges' salaries. Among those benefiting are 10 members of Texas' congressional delegation."


•    Sen. Wendy Davis, Planned Parenthood kick off bus tour (San Antonio Express-News): "Texas Democrats pledged to fight back in a campaign – starting with a statewide bus tour – against Republicans aggressively pushing strict abortion restrictions they say will hobble women’s health services in the state. 'It’s well past the time that those in control stop, think and listen to the people of Texas,' said state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin. 'We need to take this conversation about women’s health and women’s rights outside the legislative bubble in Austin.' The Senate Democrats will join Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, and other activists on a bus tour to Dallas, El Paso, Houston and other cities."

•    West blast: Sen. Barbara Boxer calls for action from governors, EPA and OSHA (The Dallas Morning News): "A key senator this morning is calling on the nation’s governors to ensure the safe storage of ammonium nitrate, in response to the deadly April blast at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., held a hearing June 27 into the tragedy, which left 15 people dead and flattened hundreds of homes and much of the small town near Waco. She held a news conference at the Capitol to discuss her conclusions. 'OSHA should be doing more inspections, there’s no doubt about it. EPA should change their risk management plan … we all have to do more,' she said." 

•    Texas senator says Capitol security has "doubled" (The Associated Press): "Security at the Texas Capitol has 'at least doubled' to handle crowds after an outburst last month in the Senate chamber shut down a deadline vote on an abortion restrictions bill, a state senator said Tuesday. Sen. Kevin Eltife, chairman of the Senate Administration Committee, said lawmakers told the Department of Public Safety to increase Capitol security no matter what the cost following the outburst by hundreds in the gallery on June 25."

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