Editor's note: If you'd like The Brief in your inbox each weekday, sign up here.

Tribune today

Senate committee advances Texas "bathroom bill"
After 13-plus hours of emotional testimony, largely in opposition, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-1 early Wednesday morning to advance the so-called Texas “bathroom bill."

Analysis: The Texas Legislature giveth — and taketh away
Local governments and school districts battling the Texas Legislature over property taxes have a couple of things in common: They want local control over taxes, and a more reliable partner in the state government.

It cost $9 million to attract a top engineer to A&M. Was that worth it?
The state spent big to recruit professor Thomas Overbye to Texas A&M University. But lawmakers are questioning whether it should devote millions to make similar hires in the future.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Rep. Dawnna Dukes will seek to have some charges against her dismissed
Citing the statute of limitations, the 11-term state representative seeks to have four of the 13 felony counts against her dismissed in a Wednesday hearing.

Red River farmers hope Trump Administration resolves land dispute
North Texas farmer Tommy Henderson may soon get what he has long hoped for: a resolution for his community's lengthy dispute with the federal government over land along the Red River.  

Proposed federal health plan brings uncertainty in Texas
After Republicans in Congress unveiled their long-awaited plan to repeal the 2010 health law on Monday, the potential impacts of the proposed bill in Texas are unclear.

Lucio's bathroom bill support is the latest example of aisle-crossing by the Valley Democrat
At a news conference with senators supporting the so-called bathroom bill, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. was the lone Democrat. It's not the first time Lucio has bucked his own party to vote with the GOP on controversial issues.

Hundreds signed up to testify as Senate committee takes up Texas "bathroom bill"
The legislation, Senate Bill 6, would require transgender individuals to use the multi-stall bathrooms and locker rooms in schools and other government buildings that match their “biological sex," as well as nix some local anti-discrimination laws.

Straus on Abbott, bathroom bill: "I never give up on anyone"
Asked if he had given up hope that Gov. Greg Abbott would weigh in on the so-called "bathroom bill," House Speaker Joe Straus responded: “I never give up on anyone.”

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

What you need to know

Texas lawmakers on the Senate State Affairs Committee advanced the "bathroom bill" at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, after more than 13 hours of public testimony.

  • The contentious "bathroom bill" would require Texans to use the bathrooms that match their “biological sex” in schools and government buildings. Supporters of the legislation say it protects people's privacy, but many Texans who testified against it said it was discriminatory.  
  • More people testified against the bill Wednesday than for it. According to Austin American-Statesman reporter Chuck Lindell, more than 250 visitors to the Capitol testified against the bill. Just 29 testified in support of it.
  • The bill still faces a long path to being passed. It now heads to the full Senate, where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said he wants to bring the bill to the floor next week
  • If the bill passes the Senate, it heads to the House. Leaders there aren't keen on the bill. On Tuesday, Speaker Joe Straus reiterated his concerns. “Clearly, I’m not a fan of the bill that they’re discussing,” he said

To get more breaking news in your inbox, subscribe to Breaking News alertsreal-time email alerts on major Texas politics news.

Other stories we're watching today:

  • The Texas House Committee on State Affairs is taking up legislation that would require health providers to bury or cremate the remains of aborted fetuses. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Alex Samuels for updates. 

What we're reading

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

Trump warns House GOP members of electoral 'bloodbath' if repeal and replace failsCNN

CIA providing raw intelligence as Trump-Russia probe heats up, Politico 

Lawmaker: Transparency needed on Texas voter ID spendingAP

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Hacked: Energy industry's controls provide an alluring target for cyberattacks, The Houston Chronicle ($)

Ted Cruz lays low on Republican Obamacare plan, San Antonio Express-News ($) 

SXSW announces changes to immigration-related language in its contracts, Austin American-Statesman ($)

For your calendar

Join us online or in person for a conversation with Austin Mayor Steve Adler at the Austin Club on March 9. 

Photo of the day

A large crowd opposed to Senate Bill 6, the Texas bathroom bill, converged at the Capitol extension rotunda as the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing temporarily adjourned Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Bob Daemmrich. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"Transgender individuals should feel a sense of sanctuary in Texas. Instead of controlling where they relieve themselves, we should be addressing the real concerns that transgender individuals face daily: discrimination in the workplace, affordable health care and harassment."

— Geoff Carlisle, a teacher, on the bathroom bill in Texas and its effect on students in TribTalk

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. 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.