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The Brief: March 3, 2015

In a House committee hearing on Monday, one witness sought to redefine the climate change debate as one with clear implications to national security.

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The Big Conversation

In a House committee hearing on Monday, one witness sought to redefine the climate change debate as one with clear implications for national security.

The Tribune's Neena Satija wrote:

A Texas-based expert on energy and national security labeled climate change much differently: “threat multiplier.”

“Climate change is often seen through a political lens,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Ken Eickmann, a senior research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin's Energy Institute. “I’d like to discuss it from a military perspective. … Climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security.”

Eickmann told the House International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee that rising temperatures and sea levels related to global warming are security threats worldwide.

The hearing was put together by the panel's chairman, Dallas Democrat Rafael Anchía, who said, “It is my goal to spend time with every member of the Legislature, whether a believer or denier, on the issue of climate change.”

"Anchia faces an uphill battle in a state where most Republican leaders do not buy into the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet with destructive effects," Satija wrote. "Of the five GOP members of his committee, two had questions for the witnesses indicating some level of skepticism."

The Day Ahead

•    The Senate convenes at 11 a.m.; the House convenes at 11:30 a.m.

•    House Appropriations meets at 7:30 a.m. to consider budget recommendations on Article VII agencies (E1.030). Budget subcommittees on Article II (JHR 131) and Article III (E1.030) meet afterward. The House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee meets at 8 a.m. to consider HB 10 by Senfronia Thompson addressing human trafficking (E2.014).

•    Senate Finance meets at 9 a.m. to continue discussion of tax relief legislation, focusing today on changes to the business franchise tax (E1.036).

•    Senate Education Chairman Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hold a 10:30 a.m. press conference on education at the Capitol.

•    Doctors descend en masse on the Capitol for the Texas Medical Association's First Tuesday legislative lobby day.

•    Also, social workers show up in force today to meet with legislators and advocate for their issues.

•    Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at 2:15 p.m. in Midland as part of his State of the State tour.

Trib Must-Reads

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More, by Edgar Walters

State Waits for Directions to Declassify Colonias, by Alexa Ura

Analysis: A Desire for Tax Cuts and a Call for Restraint, by Ross Ramsey

Ahead of Netanyahu Speech, Cruz Weighs In, by Abby Livingston

New Sheriff Arrives at Troubled Health Agency, by Terri Langford

More Troopers, Less Surging Under GOP Border Bill, by Julián Aguilar

Former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong Dies at 82, by Ryan McCrimmon

GOP Leaders Say They Won't Expand Medicaid, by Edgar Walters

Elsewhere

The Human Cost of the Border Security Buildup, Texas Observer

Border security spending may grow in Texas House, Austin American-Statesman

DPS director: 4 years to get 500 troopers here, The Monitor

Tax relief measure delayed while cities, counties fight it, San Antonio Express-News

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, 20 GOP senators demand leeway on Medicaid, The Dallas Morning News

Third shooting underscores need to secure guns from children, Houston Chronicle

Double-charging adds confusion on first day of single sticker switch, Houston Chronicle

Perry Steps Up PAC Staffing, The New York Times

Contractor: Texas inmates in uprising wanted to change where they'd be deported, The Associated Press

Quote to Note

“Once a politician, always a politician. To the end, he’d go over there and walk around and he’d say, ‘Hey, is that Bob Armstrong dip you’re eating? Well, I’m Bob Armstrong.’ ”

Will Armstrong, son of former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong, on his other legacy — the signature bowl of queso that carries his name at Matt's Famous El Rancho restaurant in Austin.

Today in TribTalk

The Christian case for drug law reform, by David Simpson

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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