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How to watch the Texas bathroom bill hearing live
A senate committee is scheduled to take up the so-called bathroom bill on Tuesday. The hearing is expected to draw hours of public testimony on the controversial proposal.

Texas "bathroom bill" galvanizes advocates for transgender people
Hundreds of advocates for transgender Texans gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to lobby against the so-called "bathroom bill."

To fight anti-"sanctuary" bill, Democrats may highlight "sanctuary industries"
Outnumbered and with time running out, Texas Democrats hoping to kill anti-"sanctuary" legislation are open to shining a spotlight on so-called "sanctuary industries" that often turn a blind eye toward hiring unauthorized labor.  

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Harris County sees high number of exonerations compared to nation, study finds
In Harris County, there have been 133 exonerations in ordinary drug possession cases over the past few years, a unique finding considering low-level drug convictions rarely result in exonerations.

House school finance plan would add $1.6B extra to public ed
State. Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, filed House Bill 21, which would infuse an extra $1.6 billion into the public education system over the next two years, combined with fixes to the school finance system.

Texas set to execute triggerman in San Antonio murder-for-hire case
Texas is set to execute hitman Ronaldo Ruiz 25 years after he killed a San Antonio woman for $2,000. It's the fourth time the state has set a date for his death. Prosecutors hope it's the last. 

Paul Ryan raised $5 million during Texas swing
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan raised $5 million while barnstorming Texas in February, attending nine events and eight meetings in five cities including a tour of the border.

Breastfeeding protections get a hearing before House lawmakers
Bills lawmakers considered Monday would let nursing moms breastfeed virtually anywhere they choose and establish workplace protections for them so they don't have to pump or nurse in the bathroom. 

Republicans expected to revise Texas "bathroom bill"
Texas Republicans are expected to offer a new version of the controversial “bathroom bill” on Tuesday with two significant changes,  according to a copy of a committee substitute obtained by The Texas Tribune.

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Rep. Doggett: Obamacare repeal bill goes to U.S. House committees Wednesday
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett said a GOP plan to repeal Obamacare will be reviewed by the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees in the U.S. House on Wednesday. 

Texas Senate to vote only on law enforcement-related bills Monday
Only bills related to law enforcement will be considered in the Senate on Monday, the first day of the legislative session when the House and Senate are allowed to pass non-emergency legislation.

What you need to know

The so-called "bathroom bill" gets its first committee hearing today, after months of controversy surrounding the legislation. A huge crowd is expected to offer public testimony starting at 8 a.m.; you can watch here. For more updates today, follow Texas Tribune reporters Alexa Ura, Patrick Svitek, Cassi Pollock and Sanya Mansoor.

  • The bathroom bill would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public buildings based on their “biological sex.” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says it is a privacy issue, but opponents of the legislation say it discriminates and would hurt Texas' economy.
  • We're expecting a long day. Patrick said as many as 700 pastors would be in town Tuesday to support the bill. Many Texans are also expected to testify against it. Committee hearings can go all day — and all night — when there are long lines to testify. A hearing earlier this year on a sanctuary cities ban lasted more than 16 hours. 
  • The discussion kicked off Monday with three press conferences — two against the bill and one for it. Patrick announced an effort to build support for the bill among Christians, and a Texas Democrat in the Senate came out in support of the legislation
  • Advocates for transgender Texans called the legislation "discriminatory" Monday. Hundreds of visitors at Texas Trans Lobby Day rallied at the capitol Monday in opposition to the legislation. Another rally will take place at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the outdoor rotunda in the Capitol Extension. 
  • Business leaders reiterated concerns on Monday that the bathroom bill could hurt Texas' economy. Patrick has called numbers floated by the business community "bogus." But already, three groups have pulled conventions worth $3.1 million out of Texas because of the legislation.

More to know about the bathroom bill:

Other stories we're watching today:

What we're reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $) 

A complete history of the bathroom bill in Texas, Community Impact Newspaper

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Rep. Jay Dean bill targets synthetic drugsLongview News-Journal

House GOP releases bill replacing Obama health care overhaulThe Associated Press

Joe Barton is hosting two town halls, in really small towns, Fort Worth Star-Telegram ($)

Bill would protect Texas workers' jobs over their political beliefs, The Houston Chronicle ($)

High-tech firms, educators push bills to fund computer science classes, Austin American-Statesman ($)

Trio of dyslexia-related bills in Legislature seeks funding, other help for kids with the reading disabilityThe Dallas Morning News ($)

For your calendar

Bring your friends and join us tonight for happy hour and conversation about the Texas Legislature at "On the Record" at the W Austin Records Room. 

Photo of the day

Advocates for #transgender rights crowd the office of State Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, after his unexpected support of the “bathroom bill” was announced Monday. Lucio, the only Democratic senator to support #SB6, was not available for a meeting. Photo by Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"Texans deserve to be able to digitally register to vote. Bills are already filed in both the House and the Senate to allow it."

— Bryan Jones, a tech entrepreneur, about Texans registering to vote online 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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