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The Brief: Lawmakers to file Sandra Bland Act

Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, will lay out the "Sandra Bland Act" at a noon press conference Thursday.

Hempstead resident Adrienne Holland holds a sign outside of the Waller County Jail where Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead.

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Tribune today

Lawmaker wants to give Texas psychologists power to write prescriptions
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Most community colleges won't ban guns in classrooms with minors
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Clinton to speak in Houston in April
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Texas Rangers investigating sexual assault scandal at Baylor
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Expect fewer man-made earthquakes in Texas, federal agency says
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Texas House, Senate unanimously pass measures overhauling child welfare system
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UT System says it won't proceed with Houston campus
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Treat same-sex couples the same as others, Texas Supreme Court told
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What you need to know

Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, will lay out the "Sandra Bland Act" at a noon press conference Thursday. Coleman has said his act would affect how law enforcement and corrections personnel deal with race, poverty, mental health, and accountability.

  • Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead in her Waller County Jail cell three days after being arrested, following a heated exchange with a police officer. Her death was ruled a suicide. The incident raised questions about mental health in jails and how police deescalate confrontational interactions with people they stop. 

  • The Texas House County Affairs Committee has already laid the foundation for the legislation. Proposals included calls to increase police training for deescalation and mental health awareness, jail-to-treatment diversion programs and eliminating consent searches during stops. 
  • For updates today, follow Texas Tribune Reporter Johnathan Silver.  

News from home

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What we're reading

Abbott ducks medical marijuana talk with Texas veterans, Longview News-Journal

McAllen cited in legislative open records debateThe Monitor

Pot smokers rejoice: small amounts of marijuana now can lead to class, not jailSan Antonio Express-News

When an unthinkable crime shatters a family, a father is forced to confront the emotional wreckage, The Dallas Morning News

Eckhardt: Travis County is 'planning for volatility' from state, feds, Austin American-Statesman ($)

Mega-rich conservative donors are behind Texas' obsession with amending the Constitution, The Dallas Morning News ($) 

City 'pauses' police body camera rollout over battery questions, The Houston Chronicle ($)

How Trump will hurt my border townThe New York Times ($)  

For your calendar 

Bring your friends and join us for happy hour and conversation about the Texas Legislature at "On the Record" at The W Austin Records Room Tuesday, March 7. 

Photo of the day

Fearing deportation, immigrant families are crowding passport lines across Texas as undocumented parents seek U.S. passports for their American children. “We’re here to get our kids passports, in case they kick us out.” Photo by Marjorie Kamys CoteraSee more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"For ICE agents to detain someone in family court when she is seeking an order of protection against her abuser flies directly in the face of both the letter and the spirit of these laws and punishes the very victims these laws were designed to protect."

— Negar Katirai, law professor at the University of Arizona, about the the ICE arresting and detaining an immigrant victim of domestic violence in El Paso 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 thebrief@texastribune.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.

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