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The Brief: June 18, 2015

A new law that requires police agencies across the state to report data on police shootings will make Texas the "envy of the country," says the law's author.

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The Big Conversation

A new law improving the state's data on police shootings will make Texas the "envy of the country," says the law's author, state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas.

The law, which was written with help of Dallas police officers, will require police agencies across the state to report information on any police shootings in which an officer didn't miss, as well as anytime a police officer is shot.

At the national level, similar data is hard to come by, but as The Dallas Morning News' Tristan Hallman reports, Texas will soon be building a database with that information:

Departments will have to report the date and location of the shooting. They’ll also have to report the age, gender, race, ethnicity of the person shot and the officers who fired. And they’ll report if the person who was shot had a weapon, the reason the officer encountered the person and how many officers were there.

Shoot-and-miss incidents do not count. The state also does not require agencies to report officers’ or suspects’ names or officers’ tenure with as cops or the number of shots fired.

Johnson said detailing every part of a single incident wasn’t the purpose of the bill. He said he wants to have a large data set so policymakers could make informed decisions.

Police departments will have 30 days to report the information, and the attorney general will have five days to post that information online. ... The attorney general will also have to compile an annual report on the incidents for state officials and the public by Feb. 1.

Trib Must-Reads

Analysis: Straus Sitting Pretty, Even Without Old Friends, by Ross Ramsey — Many of the legislators who originally elevated Joe Straus into the House Speaker's chair four legislative sessions ago are gone. But as he enters another election cycle with his eye on another term, Straus is in remarkably good political shape.

Driver's License Addresses No Longer Help Police, by Terri Langford — The home address listed on a Texas driver's license used to be one of the best tools police had to track people down, serve warrants or notify next-of-kin when someone died. But no more in this job-hopping, mobile culture.

Collier Joins Texas Democratic Party as Fundraiser, by Patrick SvitekMike Collier, a former candidate for comptroller, is taking a job with the Texas Democratic Party. He will serve as a finance co-chair for the party.

Field Takes Shape to Replace Fraser in SD-24, by Patrick Svitek — Potential and declared candidates are lining up to replace Troy Fraser in Senate District 24.

UT to Sell Beer at Football Games, by Matthew Watkins — Beer and wine will be sold in all public vending areas within Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium starting this fall. Sales will begin Sept. 12 at the football game against Rice.

The Day Ahead

•     Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith sits down for a breakfast conversation with Erica Grieder and R.G. Ratcliffe from Texas Monthly about the magazine's 2015 list of the best and worst state legislators. We will live stream the 8 a.m. event for those unable to attend in person.

•    Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick looks back on the 2015 legislative session at the Dallas Regional Chamber at noon.

•    Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller lays out changes to Texas' school nutrition policy, which partly focus on giving schools more control.


Abbott signs sex offender reforms after Minnesota program declared unconstitutional, Houston Chronicle

Abbott signs bill expanding protections against surprise medical bills, Houston Chronicle

Abbott: Texas 'avoided the worst' in storm, but watch for rising water, Austin American-Statesman

Mayor Taylor lays out vision for San Antonio, San Antonio Express-News

Denton City Council repeals fracking ban, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas workers’ comp ruling is two-edged sword for employers, The Dallas Morning News

State constitutional amendments get their places on the ballot, Houston Chronicle

Class action suit filed against Houston over drainage fee, Houston Chronicle

Japan hopes for closer ties with Texas, Dallas Morning News

Bush brothers have a complex relationship, marked by fierce rivalry, wounded feeling, Los Angeles Times

Ted Cruz: A Brokered Convention Is "Certainly A Possibility," BuzzFeed

Quote to Note

"As a kid, George viewed him as a completely unnecessary addition to the family. Jebbie was just a pain. ... I think that carried on for a long time."

John Ellis, a cousin of Jeb Bush and George W. Bush, in a Los Angeles Times story about the complex relationship between the two brothers

Today in TribTalk

Fix Texas' textbook adoption process once and for all, by David Brockman — As long as Texas fails to address the underlying problems in the textbook adoption process, it will remain confusing and politicized — to the detriment of students and teachers.

News From Home

•    On this week's TribCast, Emily Ramshaw talks with Evan Smith, Ross Ramsey and Jay Root about the Texas Monthly Best & Worst list, the San Antonio mayoral race, some big departures from the Texas Legislature and Jeb Bush's presidential announcement.

•    Legislation related to abortion and gay marriage led to some contentious debates during the 84th legislative session. Use our Texas Legislative Guide to see what lawmakers decided on social issues this session.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation About Health Care and the 84th Legislature on June 24 at UT Health Science Center San Antonio

•    A Conversation About Houston and the 84th Legislature on June 29 at George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin

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