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The Evening Brief: July 18, 2013

Your evening reading: Perry signs abortion restrictions into law; House sends transportation funding plan to the Senate; Abbott brings campaign tour to El Paso.

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, and state Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, at the signing of House Bill 2 on July 18, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Perry Signs Omnibus Abortion Bill Into Law: "With a few dozen protesters chanting outside and a Capitol auditorium full of supporters, Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 2 — the omnibus abortion legislation — into law Thursday morning."

•    House Sends Transportation Funding Plan to Senate: "The Texas House on Thursday gave final passage to a measure to boost funding for transportation projects, though few members expect it to survive the Senate without significant changes."

•    In El Paso, Abbott Says He Won't Ignore Region: "Continuing a tour across the state after announcing his gubernatorial campaign, Attorney General Greg Abbott on Thursday lambasted the federal government and touted his conservative credentials during a visit to this Democratic stronghold."

•    Family Planning Clinics to Close, Cite Reduced State Funds: "Three Planned Parenthood family planning facilities in Southeast Texas will close by the end of August, citing the loss of access to funding. The closures aren't related to recently approved abortion restrictions."

•    Lawmakers Trying Again to Award Medal to Audie Murphy: "The Texas House planned to consider a resolution Thursday to posthumously award a special medal to a Texas-born World War II hero after efforts to issue it earlier this year fell apart."


•    Wendy Davis coming to San Francisco (San Francisco Chronicle): "Texas Senator Wendy Davis — who became a national political celebrity with her determined filibuster of a GOP bill to restrict abortion — will join activist Sandra Fluke at a major EMILY’s List fundraiser in San Francisco next month, we’ve learned. Democrat Davis, who’s raised more than $1 million since her now famous June filibuster in Texas, will also appear alongside Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, one of the youngest women in the House, and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock at the August 16 luncheon panel discussion here."

•    Texas Rep. Dan Branch to announce campaign for attorney general Tuesday at SMU (The Dallas Morning News): "Rep. Dan Branch Tuesday will announce his candidacy for Texas Attorney General at SMU. The event, around noon, will be held at Karcher Auditorium at the Dedman law school."

•    Confirmation of Latino Cabinet secretary wins praise from Joaquin Castro, protest from Ted Cruz (Houston Chronicle): "Thomas Perez, the top civil rights attorney in the Department of Justice, was confirmed by the Senate to take over the post of Secretary of Labor in President Barack Obama’s cabinet. Perez, Obama’s only Latino Cabinet member, was confirmed on a vote of 54-46. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who had strongly opposed Perez’s nomination, expressed his displeasure with the confirmation vote and the bipartisan deal that allowed the vote to take place."

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