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The Evening Brief: Sept. 17, 2013

Your evening reading: former SBOE chairman urges "final blow to the teaching of evolution"; Van de Putte takes issue with Dewhurst remark at debate; Texas again has nation's highest uninsured rate

Former State Board of Education members Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar at a meeting in March 2010.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Evolution, Textbook Review Focus of SBOE Hearing: "A past Texas State Board of Education chairman and outspoken creationist urged his former colleagues on Tuesday to approve high school biology textbooks he said would 'strike a final blow to the teaching of evolution.'"

•    Perry Directs TDI to Regulate Federal Navigator Program: "Gov. Rick Perry has directed the Texas Department of Insurance to establish strict rules to regulate so-called navigators trained to help Texans purchase health coverage under Obamacare."

•    Texas Again Has Highest Uninsured Rate in Nation: "Texas continued to have the highest rate of people without health insurance in 2012 at 24.6 percent, according to the Current Population Survey estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday."

•    A Third Legal Challenge to Texas Voter ID Law: "On the eve of the first statewide election in which Texans will have to show photo IDs to vote, groups representing minority voters and officeholders sued to block the state’s new voter ID law."

•    Austin Gets High Marks for Energy-Efficient Policies: "Austin is among the large U.S. cities doing the most to conserve energy, according to a study released Tuesday by a national group that promotes energy efficiency."

•    Faculty Pay Grows With Enrollment at Sul Ross: "Faculty and staff at Sul Ross State University are looking forward to a 3 percent salary bump after the school hit its enrollment goals this year, a sign the university may be bouncing back from a slump."


•    Democratic chair takes issue with Dewhurst debate remark (Houston Chronicle): "Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, was not pleased to read our account of the Houston debate among the four candidates for lieutenant governor. At that event, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, criticized Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for naming too many Democrats as chairmen of committees. Dewhurst, we reported, 'assured the crowd that none of them was important.'"

•    Dewhurst forced to play defense in Houston debate (Houston Chronicle): "During his first public encounter with three Republican challengers, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst Monday spent an uncomfortable hour in Houston defending his 10-year record against assertions he allowed Democrats and 'mob rule' to thwart the passage of conservative legislation."

•    Perry to tour gun facility near Washington (CNN): "With guns back in the national spotlight after a mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will tour Maryland's largest gun manufacturer on Wednesday as part of his ongoing effort to lure businesses to his home state. A Perry aide told CNN that the Republican governor will tour the Beretta USA facility in Accokeek, Maryland, just over the Potomac River from Washington, D.C."

•    Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign staffs up (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. John Cornyn has hired five field organizers for his reelection campaign. That brings the paid campaign staff to 14 as Cornyn, the deputy Senate Republican leader, seeks his third term."

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