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The Brief: May 29, 2014

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst won't be around for the next legislative session in January after losing his runoff contest on Tuesday. But he won't be taking the next seven months off as a result.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst waves after speaking to a crowd on primary election night in Houston.

The Big Conversation

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst won't be around for the next legislative session in January after losing his runoff contest on Tuesday. But he won't be taking the next seven months off as a result.

The Tribune's Ross Ramsey reports that Dewhurst plans to spend the next several months preparing the Senate for the handoff to the chamber's next presiding officer, who he assumes will be Dan Patrick, the man who beat him in the runoff, and not Democratic challenger Leticia Van de Putte. He also told Ramsey that he plans to remain involved in the public policy sphere after January in some capacity.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Joe Straus told Ramsey that he was satisfied with the results of the runoff contests in his chamber, expressing hope that the 2015 session unfolds similarly to last year's session. He added that should Patrick win the post of lieutenant governor in November, they would be joined by "a common interest in success."

“The last session ... I’ll say this, as a negotiating partner on education, I found him reasonable,” Straus said.

The Day Ahead

•    Join us for a conversation with the GOP candidate for comptroller, Glenn Hegar, at the Austin Club at 8 a.m. If that's too early, we will livestream the event.

•    The House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight over criminal justice and the judiciary will hold a joint hearing at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension with the House Corrections Committee to look at health care cost trends in the prison population. (agenda)

•    The Corrections panel will hold a separate hearing at noon for an overview of processes at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the pardons and parole board. (agenda)

Today in the Trib

Costs and Questions as Texas Implements New Discovery Law: "The Michael Morton Act is raising awareness about the importance of discovery in criminal cases, lawyers say. But both prosecutors and defense lawyers agree there are still some kinks to iron out."

Changes to Specialized Visas Could Impact Border Cities: "Treaty investor visas allow foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. if they make substantial investments here. Some visa holders are crying foul over new renewal requirements, and some advocates worry the changes could impact some border cities' economies."

Eyeing Hispanic Voters, Patrick Shifts His Tone: "The conciliatory tone that marked Dan Patrick's victory speech was unlike the fiery immigration rhetoric voters were accustomed to. But it's an approach he will have to take in a general election battle against Leticia Van de Putte."

Texas Runoff Maps Show Extent of Low Voter Turnout: "Dan Patrick won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor with 65 percent of the votes in Tuesday's runoff election, but he earned votes from only 3.5 percent of registered Texas voters."


President Said to Be Planning to Use Executive Authority on Carbon Rule, The New York Times

Council extends rights protection for gays, transgendered, Houston Chronicle

Report: VA scheduling manipulation is "systematic", Austin American-Statesman

Wendy Davis Victim of Bizarre Crime in 2013, NBC DFW

Rick Perry's Wild Plan to Take Jobs From Blue States, Politico

Cruz: I’m no Rand Paul on Israel, The Hill

Primary Loss Means End of Era for World War II Veterans in Congress, The New York Times

Tax collection firm admits reporting errors, pledges fix, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

"It's really a sad state of affairs for the Texas Democratic Party when someone is able to be a statewide candidate without actively campaigning at all."

— Rice University political scientist Mark Jones on Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner Jim Hogan, who refused to campaign for the office

Today in TribTalk

Let's get beyond debating debates, by Ray Sullivan: "In campaigns, the perennial debate about debates is a ridiculous exercise, filling lots of newspaper column inches, websites and TV news blocks, while allowing everyone to avoid talking about actual positions, policies and records."

Congress must recognize Bitcoin as currency, by Steve Stockman: "Congress’ head-in-the-sand approach to virtual currency like Bitcoin threatens to leave the United States behind while the rest of the world moves forward with economic growth."

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.

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Explore related story topics

Dan Patrick David Dewhurst Glenn Hegar Joe Straus Michael Morton Rick Perry Ted Cruz Wendy Davis