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The Brief: Feb. 27, 2015

Voters are evenly split on whether the state should offer in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants, but that outer parity covers some pronounced polarization on the issue, according to the latest UT/TT Poll.

Dream Act supporters on the capitol steps

The Big Conversation

Voters are evenly split on whether the state should offer in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants, but that outer parity covers some pronounced polarization on the issue, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The Tribune's Ross Ramsey has the breakdown:

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Overall, it looks like the electorate is deadlocked on that policy, with 42 percent saying those students should continue to pay lower in-state tuition and 43 percent saying they should pay higher out-of-state rates.

The partisan differences, however, are striking: 67 percent of Democrats think the students should pay in-state rates; 75 percent of Tea Party Republicans think they should pay out-of-state rates; and non-Tea Party Republicans fall in between, with 51 percent saying the students should pay out-of-state rates and 35 percent saying in-state tuition should apply.

“It breaks somewhat along ideological lines,” said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a professor of government at UT-Austin. “I still think a lot of this is something the parties haven’t quite figured out.”

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Elsewhere, the survey of Texas voters finds that nearly 60 percent favor deporting undocumented immigrants, a level of support that Ramsey writes has held steady from the last survey in October.

Disclosure: UT-Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

The Day Ahead

•    House Appropriations meets at 7:30 a.m. to consider budget recommendations on Article VI and Article VIII agencies (E1.030). The subcommittee on Article II will meet afterward to complete unfinished business (JHR 131).

•    Tribune CEO and editor-in-chief Evan Smith will moderate a panel discussion on the future of immigration in Texas. Panelists are Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Eddie Lucio Jr., Eddie Lucio III and Ruben Villarreal. The noon event will take place at the University of Texas at Brownsville. We will livestream the event for those unable to attend in person.

Trib Must-Reads

UT/TT Poll: Voters on Vaccinations and Vouchers, by Ross Ramsey

Ag Commissioner Says Consumers Being "Screwed", by Jay Root and Neena Satija

To Conservatives, Cruz Touts Fights With Own Party, by Abby Livingston

Senators Grill UT Regent Appointees, by Bobby Blanchard

House Takes the Lead on Abbott's Pre-K Charge, by Morgan Smith

Perry Lawyers Ask Appeals Court to Dismiss Case, by Terri Langford

Elsewhere

The Future of Battleground Texas, Texas Monthly

Controversial state purchasing program likely to be revamped, officials predict, Houston Chronicle

State budget bills await juvenile justice reforms, Austin American-Statesman

Irving’s state Rep. Matt Rinaldi files bill intended to trash Dallas’ single-use bag fee, The Dallas Morning News

Should sex ed in Texas be about safe sex?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

DHS shutdown threat dimming as House GOP proposes stopgap plan, Washington Post

DPS boosts drug seizure values as it seeks more border money, Austin American-Statesman

Garcia: Van de Putte urged to bring in new campaign manager, San Antonio Express-News

Perry turns hipster glasses into campaign art, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

“What I’m trying to do more than anything else is to bring a disruptive act to politics.”

— Texas Sen. and potential 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz, in his speech on Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference

Today in TribTalk

Don't ignore gains under No Child Left Behind, by Margaret Spellings

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With State Sen. Kel Seliger and State Rep. John Zerwas on March 5 at the Austin Club

•    On the Road: A Symposium on Water on March 10 at Texas State University in San Marcos

•    Meet the Mayors: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price on March 12 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With UT-Austin Dell Medical School Dean Clay Johnston on March 26 at The Austin Club

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