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The Brief: At Capitol, Some Take Notice of Ride-Hailing Defeat

Austin voters' rejection on Saturday of a ride-hailing ordinance does not seem to be the final word in the matter with state officials now involving themselves in the public policy debate.

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The Big Conversation

Austin voters' rejection on Saturday of a ride-hailing ordinance that had been supported by Uber and Lyft does not seem to be the final word in the matter with state officials now involving themselves in the public policy debate.

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, was one of the first out of the gate, announcing on Sunday that he planned to file legislation on the topic for next year's legislative session, the Tribune's Kiah Collier reported.

Blaming "a patchwork of inconsistent and anti-competitive regulations," Schwertner argued in a statement that action by the Legislature was needed.

And he wasn't shy about singling out who he thought was to blame for the ordinance's defeat, saying that "Texas should not accept transparent, union-driven efforts to create new barriers to entry for the sole purpose of stifling innovation and eliminating competition."

Collier also noted that Land Commissioner George P. Bush weighed in via Facebook, writing, “Austin claims to be a forward-thinking city ... This is what happens with liberalism — the government wins and the people lose.”

Disclosure: Uber and Lyft have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Trib Must Reads

Analysis: In Politics, Yesterday’s Scolds are Today’s Endorsers, by Ross Ramsey — Sometimes, your only choices are “naive" and “cynical” — as when the question is whether to believe what political people say. Rick Perry talked about the presidential race Friday. Score one for the cynics.

Bills Coming Due for Troubled Foster Care System, by Edgar Walters — Two special masters appointed by a federal judge to oversee reforms at the state's troubled foster care system have started work, and the tab is running.

Special House Election in San Antonio Likely Headed to Runoff, by Jordan Rudner — It's likely that no candidate will clear 50 percent in the special election for the unexpired seat in Texas House District 120, voters will be asked to come to the polls again this summer for — yes — an extra special election.

Democrats Mull Julián Castro's Vice Presidential Prospects, by Abby Livingston — A year ago, Democrats treated HUD Secretary and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the most likely vice presidential pick for a Hillary Clinton ticket. But in recent weeks, speculation about his chances has grown more muted.

Perry Portrait Unveiled — And a Burning Question Answered, by Patrick Svitek — The official portrait of former Gov. Rick Perry was unveiled Friday morning, giving Texas' longest-serving governor a permanent home in the Capitol — and answering a burning question throughout Austin.

Asked About Trump, Joe Straus Points to Paul Ryan's Comments, by Patrick Svitek — Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is signaling agreement with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan when it comes to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

In Big Bend, Trans-Pecos Pipeline Clears Last Hurdle, by Jim Malewitz — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signed off on a stretch of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline that would cross below the Rio Grande, handing a setback to a coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and landowners that sought to thwart the project.

Perry on Trump Endorsement: "We Let Bygones be Bygones", by Patrick Svitek — In Austin, former Gov. Rick Perry on Friday defended his endorsement of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee whom Perry once called a "cancer on conservatism." Perry said such rhetoric comes in the heat of battle.


Bathrooms, guns, secession: Words you’ll hear from Texas GOP this week, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Immigrants fleeing to the United States find the trek is increasingly dangerous, San Antonio Express-News

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Chemical Breakdown, Houston Chronicle

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‘There’s nobody left’: Evangelicals feel abandoned by GOP after Trump’s ascent, The Washington Post

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Quote to Note

“I hate to make this comparison. I really do feel like in the future I would hate to look back and say, ‘I voted for Hitler.’ I feel like that may be what is happening if I vote for Trump.”

— Heather Dreesman, an evangelical voter in Nebraska, telling The Washington Post that thinking about the November election in which Donald Trump is the GOP nominee "makes her feel sick to her stomach"

Today in TribTalk

Ride sharing is win-win-win for passengers, drivers and cities, by Tom Giovanetti — Drivers and passengers are wildly enthusiastic about ride sharing. Who could oppose a new service that is universally loved by its participants? Government, of course — especially government at its worst.

Innovation is the way forward for Austin and Uber/Lyft, by Steve Adler — In this strange case, Austin is insisting upon its right to innovate, while Uber is demanding adherence to the status quo. Like I said, I do not like binary choices. But sometimes, the best answers to binary choices are self-evident.

Texas cities shouldn’t block short-term rentals, by Josiah Neeley — The real culprit when is comes to affordable housing is restrictions on building. Cities have not always known how to respond to the sharing economy. In many cases, they've tried to force short-term rentals into outdated regulatory schemes.

News From Home

•    Throughout Mental Health Month in May, The Texas Tribune is partnering with Mental Health Channel and KLRU to focus on some of Texas’ biggest challenges in providing mental health care. See all the stories in this series.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation on Mental Health Matters on May 10 at KLRU Studio 6A in Austin

•    A Conversation with Mike Morath, Texas Education Commissioner, on May 17 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation Series on the Direction of Health Care: Do We Have Enough Doctors?, on May 19 at the Medical World Americas Conference in Houston

•    A Conversation with Ryan Sitton, Texas Railroad Commissioner, on June 3 at The Austin Club

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

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