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The Evening Brief: Aug. 1, 2013

Your evening reading: transportation funding plan clears House committee; Texas again running low on lethal injection drug; report says Texas counties stand to gain most from health reform

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New in The Texas Tribune

•    House Panel Backs New Transportation Funding Plan: "A House committee held its first hearing in the third special session Thursday, and it voted out a transportation funding plan with minor changes from one that failed in the previous special session."

•    Route to Deal on Cash for Roads Remains Hazy: "Lawmakers hoping to find a viable transportation funding measure in the third special session, which started this week, are looking closely at a plan that failed in the first two special sessions."

•    Women's Health Coalition Concerned State Plan is Falling Short: "Sen. Jane Nelson has responded to the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition’s concerns that the state’s $100 million expansion of a primary care program would not meet lawmakers' intent of restoring access to family planning."

•    Report: Texas Counties Stand to Gain Most From Federal Health Reform: "The left-leaning Center for American Progress lists 22 Texas counties among the 30 in the nation that are most likely to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. But the federal health law's critics question how effective the reform will be."

•    As Congress Recesses, Groups Want Immigration to Stay in Spotlight: "Proponents of a comprehensive immigration overhaul say that when members of Congress return from their August recess, they face a narrow timeline for passing immigration legislation."

•    San Antonio Officials Investigating Eagle Ford Shale's Effect on Ozone: "As the ozone rating in San Antonio continues its slow upward march, area officials are beginning to investigate whether oil and gas drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has anything to do with it."

Culled

•    Officials: Texas running out of execution drug (Austin American-Statesman): "State officials said Thursday they are again running out of the lethal drug used to operate the nation’s busiest execution chamber. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said the state’s remaining supply of pentobarbital expires in September, and officials 'are exploring all options' for an alternative."

•    Perry to attend weekend conference in New Orleans (The Associated Press): "Gov. Rick Perry is heading to New Orleans to address the same conservative conference where he launched his unsuccessful 2011 White House bid."

•    Ted Cruz to join anti-Obamacare town hall (Politico): "Sen. Ted Cruz will join Heritage Action for a town hall event in Dallas as part of the group’s series pushing efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, continuing his crusade to stifle the law, the group announced."

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