The Evening Brief: July 30, 2013
Your evening reading: Perry calls third special session; debate over Capitol confiscations continues; Abbott calls White House's voting rights push a scheme to turn Texas blue.
New in The Texas Tribune
• Perry Calls Third Special Session, Focuses on Transportation Funding: "Just over an hour after lawmakers ended their second 30-day special session of the year, Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday called lawmakers back for a third one, with transportation funding the only issue on the agenda."
• Evidence of Excrement Remains Elusive: "Debate continues over whether visitors to the Capitol on July 12 attempted to sneak in containers of human feces. The Department of Public Safety is seeking to withhold information about the alleged incident."
• Texas Women's Health Program Claims Decline: "The number of claims filed for medical and family planning services in the new state-run Texas Women's Health Program has dropped since the state ousted Planned Parenthood from it, according to figures from HHSC."
• Study: High Levels of Arsenic Found in Water Near Natural Gas Sites: "A new study of water quality in the Barnett Shale region has found high levels of arsenic in wells that are closer to natural gas extraction sites. It's sure to fuel an already fierce debate over the impacts of hydraulic fracturing."
• Views Are Mixed on Beverage Sales Tax Hike: "Bars and restaurants are going to be paying half of the taxes they pay now on cocktails. But Texas consumers aren't likely to see that savings. Instead, your margaritas and bloody marys could get a little pricier next year."
• Bill would require women take adoption course before abortion (San Antonio Express-News): "The lone Senate Democrat to vote in favor of recent sweeping abortion restrictions filed a bill Tuesday that would require a woman to complete a three-hour course on adoption before legally obtaining an abortion in Texas."
• Abbott: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas (The Washington Times): "The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to 'turn Texas blue.' The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook."
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