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Analysis: On child protection, the money might be the hardest part
The safety net for Texas children has some big holes in it, and most lawmakers want that fixed. But it's going to cost money — a harder sell in a conservative Texas Legislature.
After rape scandal, Baylor's most powerful boosters fight over school's future
Some of Baylor University's biggest donors are waging a campaign against their alma mater's board of regents. But will it succeed?
Trump impact felt in legislative districts, new election data shows
Newly released data from the Texas Legislative Council shows 10 state House districts and one Senate district where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received more votes, despite those districts being represented by Republicans.
Appeals court dismisses case on immigrant harboring law
A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismissed a case brought against the state over a provision of Texas law that prohibits "concealing, harboring, or shielding" undocumented immigrants.
In border meeting, Sid Miller suggests distance with Trump on border wall, immigration
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Thursday left the tough talk on immigration in Austin while he held a historic press conference on one of the country's busiest international bridges to Mexico.
CPAC gives Ted Cruz warm reception as he calls Democratic base "bat-crap crazy"
At the annual gathering of conservatives, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz inexplicably predicted there would be a new vacancy at the U.S. Supreme Court for President Trump to fill by the summer.
Texas attorney general on funding for sex-trafficking victims: "We'll take what we can get"
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said more should be done to help sex-trafficking victims and protect vulnerable children in Texas — but that it's not up to him to fund those efforts.
Texas House's chief budget writer: State shouldn't cut border security funding
The Texas’ House’s chief budget writer said that President Trump’s emergence in Washington shouldn’t give state lawmakers license to slice hefty appropriations for border security — at least not yet.
What you need to know
The issue of providing state funding to address child sex trafficking continues to be a major point of discussion in Texas. Asked about The Texas Tribune’s series on sex trafficking, Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday that more should be done to protect vulnerable children in Texas — but that it's not up to him to fund those efforts.
- Last week, the Tribune reported that Texas leaders have publicly battled sex trafficking for more than a decade but have devoted few resources to it. The issue has created a pipeline from the state’s troubled child welfare system to sex trafficking.
- Paxton acknowledged that few resources are available to actually help sex-trafficking victims. But he added: "I don't get to decide policy. What I do is, I enforce whatever the Legislature gives me authority to do.”
- Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey notes that increasing funds to protect vulnerable children might be a tough sell to lawmakers in a tight budget cycle. "The difficulty, if the state’s history is any guide, is getting the money together, applying steady pressure to the problem and not simply treating it as a chronic condition that can be ignored between headline-grabbing flare-ups,” Ramsey wrote.
News from home
Help us report on sex trafficking in Texas: Over the past five months, The Texas Tribune has investigated the hidden world of sex trafficking. Now, we want to hear about your experiences.
What we're reading
(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $)
Trio of military men gain growing influence with Trump, AP
FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories, CNN
Nearly 15,200 Fort Worth students missed class on 'A Day Without Immigrants,' Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Texas Tech breaks ground on $77 million experimental sciences building, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Lawmakers renew effort to crack down on bad nursing homes, The Houston Chronicle ($)
Ted Cruz mocks pro-impeachment Democrats for 'alternative reality,' The Dallas Morning News ($)
For your calendar
Join us online for a conversation in Dallas about public education, immigration, health care, spending and taxes.
Quote to note
"I don’t want to cut off all migrant workers. It’s just not going to work for agriculture. It’s part of our workforce, and Donald Trump uses the same workforce in his businesses. He has groundskeepers and landscapers and custodians and maids in his hotels and cooks and dishwashers — a lot of those are migrant workers.”
— Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on his belief the current immigration system should be reworked to allow low-skilled labor to work in the U.S. legally
The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. 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.