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hot list day 79

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Day 79 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

LINE OF THE DAY
“To me, it’s just a tool that prosecutors use to enhance their political careers.”
Exonerated death row imate Clarence Brandley on the death penalty.

FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
For over 60 years, school districts could count on the state to meet education funding obligations, regardless of how much the state had in the bank. But now education experts worry this year’s budget cuts may signal an end to that automatic funding philsophy, leaving the planning process—in one expert’s words—”significantly screwed up.”  

OBSERVED
Even ex-drug offenders have got to eat. So argues Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, who laid out a bill yesterday calling for Texas to opt out of a federal law that bans ex-drug offenders from accessing food stamps. Proponents of the bill argue that the move would come at no cost to the state.  

BEST OF THE REST
The Austin American-Statesman blows the whistle on some potentially dubious Capitol dealings. As Mike Ward reports, Rick Perry’s top aides met secretly with health care contractors Monday to discuss the option of privatized prison health care—leaving some state officials worried of foul play.  

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
School board members and superintendents will rally on the south steps of the Capitol at 2 p.m. today to protest the proposed cuts to public education and urge lawmakers to spend more of the Rainy Day fund.