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The Brief: Greg Abbott signaled support for a bathroom bill. Now what?

Things at the Texas Capitol are beginning to boil with six weeks left in the legislative session. Multiple proposals are bubbling inside the House today, which convenes at 10 a.m.

John Erler of Austin poses as Moses in the hallways of the Capitol Extension during public testimony on SB 6 the bathroom bill on March 7, 2017.

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Tribune today

• From Ross Ramsey: Lawmakers get uncomfortable when their voters and their business supporters are out of sync. And the "bathroom bill" isn't the only legislation where there's daylight between those groups.

• Amid a legislative session that aims to fix massive pension shortfalls in two of Texas' biggest cities, Dallas officials argue state law created some of their current problems in the first place.

• U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is defending conservative lawmakers against what he described as critics in the White House who are not serving President Donald Trump's best interests. 

• House leaders called the Senate's version of the state budget "unambiguously" unconstitutional in a letter sent Tuesday urging the Texas Attorney General to take their side in a dispute over how state lawmakers should be allowed to balance the books.

• After a similar bill failed at the Capitol in 2015, a measure that would allow Texans to carry a firearm without a permit could be headed to the full Texas House.

• Texas school board members reached common ground Tuesday on language that relates to challenging scientific theories about evolution. 

• A Texas House panel Tuesday approved a $25 million dollar grant program that would pay for bulletproof vests for all patrol officers in the state. 

• Texas hospitals and abortion clinics would have to bury or cremate fetal remains under a measure that passed out of a House committee Tuesday. 

• School districts Tuesday begged a Senate panel to extend an expiring program that small, vulnerable school districts rely on for vital operations. 

• Baylor University named its first female president Tuesday in the aftermath of a sexual assault scandal on campus.

• More than 90 percent of Texans believe that local police should be allowed to ask about immigration status if a person is arrested for a crime, according to a poll released Tuesday. 

• Inching toward 21st century transparency, the Texas House preliminarily approved a measure Tuesday to require that the personal financial statements of state politicians and bureaucrats be posted online.

What you need to know

Things at the Texas Capitol are beginning to boil with six weeks left in the legislative session. Multiple proposals are bubbling inside the House today, which convenes at 10 a.m. Here's what you need to know: 

• A panel will wade into the bathroom debate. Once the lower chamber adjourns for the day, a House committee will consider a bill that's shaping up to be an alternative to the Senate's "bathroom bill." Gov. Greg Abbott's signaled support for the House proposal Monday. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Alexa Ura for updates. 

• A bill that would set statewide regulations for ride-hailing services is on today's House calendar. The proposal is aimed at overriding local regulation that prompted Uber and Lyft to leave Austin and other Texas cities last year. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Alex Samuels for updates. 

The House's leading school finance proposal is also set to come up for a vote on the floor. The measure would inject $1.6 billion into the state's public schools, and comes after a Senate committee considered a bill that would simplify the school finance formula Monday. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Aliyya Swaby for updates. 

What we're reading

Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.

Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush hospitalized in HoustonReuters

Castro talks national issues while mulling Senate bid, Corpus Christi Caller-Times 

Attorney general, Homeland chief to visit El Paso, El Paso Times 

On Russia, Trump and his top national security aides seem to be at oddsThe Washington Post ($)

Severely disabled children struggle under managed care program, San Antonio Express-News ($)

Bernie Sanders returning to Grand Prairie to rally Democrats against Donald Trump, Dallas Morning News ($)

For your calendar 

On April 20: Watch our livestream or join us in person at the Austin Club to hear state Reps. James Frank and Ina Minjarez talk about foster care with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. RSVP. 

On April 24: Join us in Austin or on our livestream as the Texas Tribune talks about what "Repeal and Replace" could mean for Texas. This is the beginning of a three-part conversation series on health care. RSVP.

Quote to note

"When people ask me why I quit my job at NASA, I tell them that children are more complicated systems than space shuttles. Avoiding the evaluation of ideas hinders progress.”

— Sherry Joslin, a middle school math and science teacher and former NASA engineer, about language in high school curriculum that relates to scientific theories about evolution

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. If you have feedback or questions, please email

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