Michael Burgess will lead the GOP charge on unwinding Obamacare
The eight-term congressman chairs a House subcommittee tasked with forging the path forward for a landmark health care bill that many Republicans campaigned on repealing. "That's going to be my life for the next two years," he said.
In border visit, Abbott urges balance between security, trade
Gov. Greg Abbott told Donald Trump's new Homeland Security secretary Wednesday that border security should be balanced with Texas' economic interests.
In preliminary vote, State Board of Education keeps controversial evolution standards
A day after hearing from scientists begging them to remove controversial language from science standards that some say opens the door to creationism, State Board of Education members took a preliminary vote Wednesday to do the opposite.
Texas scientists worry about research funding under Trump
Texas scientists — particularly those who study climate — are worried they may lose access to key government research funding under the administration of President Trump, who has repeatedly called climate change a "hoax."
Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson confirmed as next Secretary of State
The U.S. Senate approved former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as the first Texan in almost 25 years to serve as the country's next Secretary of State.
John Cornyn jumps to Ted Cruz's defense in dispute with Al Franken
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn jumped to the defense of his Senate colleague, Ted Cruz, at a hearing on Wednesday. At issue was Cruz's remarks during a recent confirmation hearing for one of President Trump's cabinet picks.
In South Texas, company planning toxic waste landfill drops lawsuit against county official
The chief proponent of a toxic waste dump in South Texas has abandoned a challenge to local permitting authority, but he said the fight is far from over.
Legislature should prioritize judicial security, Texas Supreme Court chief justice says
In his State of the Judiciary address Wednesday, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht discussed bail reform, the cost of legal expenses, mental health issues and a host of other topics.
What you need to know
A bill that would ban “sanctuary cities” is getting its first hearing Thursday, just days after Gov. Greg Abbott declared the issue an emergency item in his State of the State address. Today's discussion also comes amid escalating tensions between Abbott and the Travis County sheriff over her new “sanctuary” policy.
On Wednesday, Travis County officially adopted a policy that limits cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officials to deport inmates. Abbott responded by following through on a threat to cut off some state funding to the county.
- Ahead of Thursday's hearing, the bill was updated with wording that would also give campus police the power to enforce federal immigration laws. Supporters of the legislation say it will keep communities safer.
- But some law enforcement are opposed to the legislation. In addition to concerns that it will deter the public from cooperating with police, El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles says the bill "only serves to fulfill the anti-immigrant rhetoric of certain politicians."
- Today's hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. CST, with hundreds expected to testify. Watch the hearing live on our site, and follow Texas Tribune reporter Julián Aguilar for updates.
News from home
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What we're reading
(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $)
House science panel to hold hearing on "making the EPA great again", Scientific American
Why the state budget is such a mess, Texas Observer
Briles drops libel lawsuit against Baylor regents, senior VP, Waco Tribune-Herald
Trump to Mexico: Take care of 'bad hombres' or US might, The Associated Press
White House puts Iran 'on notice' after missile launch, The Wall Street Journal ($)
Travelers no longer being deatined at DFW airport because of Trump's order, attorneys say, The Dallas Morning News ($)
For your calendar
On Tuesday, Feb. 7: Join us online or in person to meet several new legislators, Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, Rep. Justin Holland, R-Rockwall, and Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas.
For a complete list of upcoming events, visit our site.
Quote to note
"We ask Texans to put a lot of trust in us and believe that we as legislators are acting in their best interest. But lately, we've done a sorry job of ensuring people can both trust — and verify."
— State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, about ethics reform in the legislature 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.