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The Evening Brief: Sept. 13, 2013

Your evening reading: Staples hits Dewhurst over U.S. Senate race; Cruz advocating middle ground on immigration reform; legal group taking on Texas National Guard's same-sex benefits decision

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples visits the Senate on Jan. 8, 2013, the opening day of the 83rd legislative session.

Culled

•    Todd Staples says David Dewhurst proved he’s not a strong GOP leader in U.S. Senate race (The Dallas Morning News): "Lieutenant governor candidate Todd Staples said Thursday that incumbent David Dewhurst had proved during his failed campaign for Senate last year that he wasn’t the strong leader the state needs in the No. 2 job. 'The race for U.S. Senate with Ted Cruz just revealed that David’s not the leader to take us forward,' Staples said at a campaign stop in Plano."

•    Legal Group Sets Up Challenge To Texas National Guard’s Decision On Gay Couples’ Marriages (BuzzFeed): "An LGBT legal group has given the Texas National Guard 10 days to respond to its request that it begin enrolling same-sex spouses of service members into the federal Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) at its facilities."

•    Board of Ed hears testimony on lesson plan service (The Associated Press): "A State Board of Education committee has appointed 175 teachers, parents and experts to review a controversial social studies curriculum system designed to help teachers meet state standards, board member Marty Rowley said Friday."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    On Immigration, Cruz Aims for Middle Ground: "U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has been an ardent and highly visible opponent of giving undocumented immigrants a way to become U.S. citizens. He is advocating a middle ground — legalization and more visas without citizenship."

•    A Boom for Oil, but a Bust for Texas' Rural Roads: "As the Texas Department of Transportation blames a funding shortfall for its plans to convert some rural roads to gravel, South Texans argue they are being unfairly punished for the region’s drilling boom."

•    Graveling Over Visible Holes in Funding — and Invisible Ones, Too: "The state's proposal to convert some paved roads back to gravel has invisible counterparts in other areas of the state budget. But roads are right there, every day with all their potholes, construction projects and worsening traffic jams as more people flow into Texas. That visibility makes a difference."

•    To Save Energy, Groups Call for a New Texas Building Code: "In energy-guzzling Texas, a group of environmental advocates and business leaders is calling a for new statewide energy building code."

•    Perry's Communications Director Leaving for Insurance Department Job"Allison Castle, the governor's communications director, is leaving for a job at the Texas Department of Insurance."

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