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The Brief: Jan. 16, 2015

Gov. Rick Perry's formal farewell Thursday afternoon to the state Legislature dominated headlines with writers trying to discern from his speech what the future holds for him.

Gov. Rick Perry delivers a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas House and Senate on Jan. 15, 2015.

The Big Conversation

Gov. Rick Perry's formal farewell Thursday afternoon to the state Legislature dominated headlines with writers trying to discern from his speech what the future holds for him.

Here's a partial recap of the coverage:

The Tribune's Ross Ramsey: "Everything he said made perfect sense if you were watching a governor in his last big public address. And a lot of it looked pretty good if you were tuning in to see a candidate making the turn from a successful run in one office to a bid for an even bigger job."

Jonathan Tilove of the Austin American-Statesman: "Ray Sullivan, a former Perry chief of staff and spokesman for his failed 2012 presidential campaign, said Perry’s words on cooperation were in part an accurate reflection of the way legislating is done in the Texas Capitol and a critique 'of the gridlock and polarization in Washington, D.C. ... That’s a pretty good message for whatever his future might hold.'"

Christy Hoppe of The Dallas Morning News: "The theme of Austin working together provided a stark contrast to the stalemates of Washington dysfunction. But it also produced eye-rolls from Texas Democrats who still bear the bruises of the beat-downs Perry and the Republican majority provided on abortion restrictions, Voter ID, mid-term redistricting, cuts to education and a host of other issues."

Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News: "Now eyeing a second run for president in a crowded 2016 Republican field that’s taking aim at a dysfunctional Washington, Perry as he leaves the governorship highlighted the need to reach across the aisle. In a valedictory that could help set the stage for a national run if he chooses to formally make one, Perry spoke compassionately of the state’s changing approach to non-violent drug offenders."

Trib Must-Reads

Arkansas Medicaid Plan Offers Mixed Lessons, by Edgar Walters

The Best Job-Creating Governors? Bush and Perry, by Philip Bump, The Washington Post

Straus: Budget Plan Reflects Fiscal Discipline, by Aman Batheja

Sources: Abbott Will Wait to Decide on Janek's Future, by Terri Langford and Reeve Hamilton

Anchia Goes on Offense, Moves to Reaffirm Dream Act, by Ryan McCrimmon

Extra Cash Should Go to Paying Debt, Otto Says, by Bobby Blanchard

In Last Hurrah, Perry Encourages Compromise, by Reeve Hamilton

Musk: Texas a "Leading Candidate" for Hyperloop Track, by Aman Batheja

Activists Line Up to Support Openly Carrying Guns, by Bobby Blanchard

Lt. Gov.-Elect Taps Business Leaders for New Advisory Board, by Morgan Smith

Elsewhere

Cruz out at Senate campaign arm, The Hill

Perry spends $1 million in campaign cash fighting indictment, San Antonio Express-News

Oil slump claims 9,000 jobs at Schlumberger, Houston Chronicle

Nichols shares details of bill that would boost Texas highway funding, Austin American-Statesman

Texas takes aim at overweight trucks, KXAN-TV

Erica Stick is third top Texas health official to resign, Austin American-Statesman

Lawsuit claims Dallas County’s commissioner districts discriminate against whites, The Dallas Morning News

Feds arrest woman who said she paid bribe to reduce bond; Rep. Canales denies wrongdoing, The Monitor

A&M committee warned regents against Academic Building for Perry naming, Houston Chronicle

Demography Is Not Destiny for Democrats, National Journal

Quote to Note

"I made both political parties very happy."

— Gov. Rick Perry, during his Thursday farewell speech to the Legislature, on his decision to switch parties and become a Republican

Today in TribTalk

2015: An agenda for education reform, by Julie Linn

News From Home

This isn't just week one of the 84th legislative session — it's also the kickoff of our new afternoon email report, one we’ll be offering as a new benefit for subscribers to our premium newsletter for political insiders. And here’s a quick reminder of another incredible new perk for subscribers of Texas Weekly: a yearlong digital subscription to The Washington PostSubscribe now to receive your first Blast the same day. Don't miss a single edition!

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    Future Forum: The Future of Texas on Jan. 21 at the LBJ Library in Austin

•    A Conversation With House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock on Jan. 22 at The Austin Club

•    Higher Ed: The Next Five Years on Jan. 26 at the Texas Tech University Alumni Center in Lubbock

•    A Conversation With Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick on Jan. 27 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With Adm. William McRaven, UT System Chancellor on Feb. 5 at The Austin Club

•    Houston & the Legislature: Previewing the 84th Session on Feb. 12 at the Wortham Center in Houston

•    A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro on Feb. 19 at The Austin Club

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