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Rick Perry prepares to re-enter political arena with confirmation hearing
More than five years after his infamous "oops" moment, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is facing another high-pressure moment in the national spotlight this week: his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Lawmakers likely to wage in-state tuition policy fight again this year
Will Texas legislators repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants? One Republican lawmaker is determined to make it happen.
Sobbing brother testifies in Border Patrol agent's murder trial
The star witness against a Border Patrol agent accused of murder — his own brother — gives tearful testimony in Valley courtroom
State focuses on anti-abortion group video in Planned Parenthood hearing
Showing multiple clips from a video released in 2015 by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, state attorneys and witnesses said the footage was grounds for dismissing Planned Parenthood from Medicaid.
Report: Trump picks Perdue for agriculture secretary, passing over 4 Texans
President-elect Donald Trump has picked former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary, bypassing four Texans who had been seen as candidates for the job, Fox News reported Wednesday.
AG Paxton sues EPA for a second time this week over environmental rules
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday joked about suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency one last time before President Obama leaves office this week. On Wednesday, he did it again.
Reports: Most statewide officials in strong financial shape
Most of Texas' top state leaders tallied some formidable numbers in their latest campaign finance reports.
Dan Patrick makes only one change atop Senate committees
Only one committee received a new committee chair in the Texas Senate. Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, will chair the Senate Administration Committee.
One month into term, Corpus Christi mayor abruptly resigns via Facebook
About a month after being sworn in, Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen announced his resignation in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Joe Straus: Legislators need to be careful when it comes to "bathroom bill"
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus told the Texas Association of Business that the "bathroom bill," a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, was not his most urgent concern for the 85th Legislative Session
State Rep. Dawnna Dukes indicted by grand jury
A grand jury has indicted State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, the Travis County District Attorney's office said Wednesday.
What you need to know
Gov. Rick Perry's confirmation hearing to serve as energy secretary in President-elect Donald Trump's administration is today. One word he'll probably avoid: "Oops."
- During the 2011 Republican primary, Perry forgot the name of the energy department during one of the debates. Now, he's set to run that very agency if confirmed by the Senate.
- His allies and supporters shrug off that moment. It was more than five years ago, they say. And to prepare, Perry has been meeting with senators on the committee and has participated in at least one mock hearing.
- But if Perry thought he was preparing to be the "global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry," one former adviser said he's faced a "learning curve" on nuclear weapons.
- Perry's overall energy record is more nuanced than some might think. Oil and gas production boomed during his time as Texas governor, but so did wind power.
- Don't expect too many fireworks at his hearing. Perry didn't make the list of eight nominees Democrats are threatening to target. Instead, Democrats are focusing on secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and others.
- The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. CST. Watch a livestream on our site or follow Texas Tribune reporter Abby Livingston for updates.
Other stories we're watching today:
- A hearing to determine if Texas can kick Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid continues Thursday. There may even be a ruling. Subscribe to our breaking news alerts here.
What we're reading
(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $)
How unfunded pensions almost sunk Houston, The Atlantic
New details emerge about slaying of Little Elm officer, including ID of suspected gunman, The Dallas Morning News ($)
Showdown looms between CVS pharmacies and Texas Medicaid regulators, Austin American-Statesman ($)
Ricky Williams claims Texas police racially profiled him, The Houston Chronicle ($)
Secret Service agrees to pay $24 million in decades-old race-bias case brought by black agents, The Washington Post ($)
For your calendar
Photo of the day
State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, gives a statement before being arraigned on Thursday. Photo by Tim Park. See more photos on our Instagram account.
Quote to note
"The Biennial Revenue Estimate delivered by the comptroller last week wasn't pretty, but it is reality."
— Drew Darby, State Representative for House District 72, about the biennial budget via Tribtalk
The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Sanya Mansoor. If you have feedback or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the House and Senate were scheduled to meet Thursday. In fact, they have both adjourned until next week.