The Brief: An often-absent Dawnna Dukes
State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, has missed more record votes during the current legislative session than any of the 150 members of the House by far, a Texas Tribune analysis shows.
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• From Ross Ramsey: Another judge has ruled that Texas intentionally discriminated when changing voting laws. But the state still got away with it.
• Parents fear a House bill would make it easier for people to publicly shame them for not vaccinating their children.
• Sandra Bland's mother was among those who testified in favor of a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to document the race and ethnicity of drivers they stop.
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• The Senate backed legislation that would allow county clerks to recuse themselves from signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples on religious grounds.
• An amendment that would ban abortion providers from receiving any funds from the state passed in the Texas House.
What you need to know
State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, has missed more record votes during the current legislative session than any of the 150 members of the House, a Texas Tribune analysis with data from recordvotes.com shows.
• The 11-term Democrat has missed 64 percent of the votes taken, as of last Friday. Dukes, who was indicted on abuse-of-office charges in January, was present and voting for most of the 15-hour-long marathon budget debate on the House floor, missing only 16 of 66 recorded votes.
• Dukes’ missed votes include both excused and unexcused absences. An excused absence is granted as long as representatives notify the House clerk's office or ask a colleague to announce their absence on the floor. An unexcused absence is only given if the lawmaker doesn't communicate their plans to miss a day.
• Asked about her attendance, Dukes said she has worked hard on the budget. “Most of my work this session has been behind the scenes in Appropriations committee, conferring with agency heads, nonprofit/interest groups and meeting with constituents — just like every session I've served in,” Dukes said.
What we're reading
Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.
Federal grand jury indicts 8, including Ennis doctor, in $158 million health care fraud scheme, Waxahachie Daily Light
USAA raises minimum wage to $16 per hour, expands parental leave, KSAT
Five RGV residents charged with Medicare fraud, illegal kickbacks, The Monitor
Rule denying car registration to parents who don't pay child support generates $1.17 million, Beaumont Enterprise
Wallace a boon to lobbyists who fund her campaign, San Antonio Express-News ($)
Bill could limit cities' authority to designate historic landmarks, The Houston Chronicle ($)
For your calendar
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Quote to note
"I'm listening to dollars. I'm listening to data. Your data is Sandra Bland and many of those like her. The cost, the dollars, was her life and many others like her."
— Geneva Reed-Veal testifying in support of a bill named for her daughter, the Sandra Bland Act
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