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The Brief: April 25, 2014

The House select committee charged with investigating UT System Regent Wallace Hall could vote as early as May 12 on whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full chamber.

Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, Jr. takes notes at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 14, 2013 in Austin.

The Big Conversation

The House select committee charged with investigating UT System Regent Wallace Hall could vote as early as May 12 on whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full chamber.

That announcement was made after the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations received a report prepared by its counsel, attorney Rusty Hardin, in a three-hour closed-door session. "The reasons (for impeachment) listed in Hardin's report include allegations that the regent abused his office in his pursuit of information regarding the University of Texas at Austin and his handling of private student information," reported the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton.

The Austin American-Statesman's Ralph K.M. Haurwitz noted that the report had also been referred to Travis County prosecutors for possible action there as well. In any event, the House committee would need to draw up articles of impeachment should it decide to make that recommendation. The panel could opt for a lesser sanction or take no action at all.

Bringing articles of impeachment against an unelected official does not have a precedent in Texas history. Hamilton reported that committee co-chair Dan Flynn, R-Van, "said it was important that the committee's work be viewed as thorough and fair."

The Day Ahead

•    The House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee holds an interim hearing on coastal tourism and impacts of the drought on Rio Grande turkey populations at 1 p.m. at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. (agenda)

Today in the Trib

Federal Lawsuit Threatens to Derail Texas CPS: "Like most child welfare agencies nationwide, Texas Child Protective Services has had its share of adversity. Officials say agency reforms have made clear improvements. But the agency still faces problems."

Gun Rights Activists' Latest Strategy: Armed Demonstrations: "Gun rights advocates have taken to carrying their weapons into the streets, drawing criticism from gun control supporters who say that such methods are unnecessarily provocative."

Analysis: History Lesson on Stifling the Senate Minority: "Lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick has promised supporters that he will not put Democrats in charge of any committees if he is elected. He might want to study some recent history before making good."


Perry aides offered Lehmberg a job for resignation, San Antonio Express-News

BLM proves useful for Texas politicos, Houston Chronicle

Arkansas judge strikes down voter ID law, The Hill

Another flat year for STAAR test results — an unusual pattern, The Dallas Morning News

Who is running embattled sex offender agency?, Houston Chronicle

Son: George H.W. Bush wants Jeb to run, Politico

Sen. Ted Cruz causes stir with photo of tiger pelt, San Antonio Express-News

In McAllen, U.S. Rep. Castro talks politics, says Wendy Davis will need RGV's help in November, McAllen Monitor

Quote to Note

“It’s just one of those things you hear it and you go this is really news, N-E-W-S.”

New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney on catching the quote from Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy that led to his being disowned by his conservative allies

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Panel Discussion on Keeping the Lights on in Texas at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, 4/29

•    The Texas Tribune Festival On the Road presents a one-day symposium on STEM Education at UT-Dallas, 5/5

•    A Conversation With Rep. Dan Branch, Candidate for Attorney General at the Austin Club, 5/8

•    A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13

•    A Conversation With Steve Patterson, UT Men's Athletic Director at the Austin Club, 5/15

•    A Conversation With Sen. Glenn Hegar, Candidate for State Comptroller at the Austin Club, 5/29

•    Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Rusty Hardin was a major donor to the Tribune in 2012 and 2013. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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Health care Politics Dan Patrick Greg Abbott Joaquin Castro Rick Perry Ted Cruz Wendy Davis