Texas Lunch Links: Private Schools, Gun Manufacturer Incentives, and the Romeo and Romeo bill

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We do our best, but we can't cover everything. To fill in the gaps, please enjoy Texas Lunch Links: a lunchtime buffet of links to Texas-related news and views.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Despite a show of organized support by proponents of private schools and charter schools at yesterday's Senate Eduction Committee hearing, the future looks bleak for separate bills by Republican state senators Dan Patrick (Houston) and Donna Campbell (New Braunfels) that would have paid for private school educations with money from Texas taxpayers.

TORT REFORM: Challenging the veracity of claims in an opinion piece authored by Brooke Rollins of Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank (…), a forthcoming article finds “no evidence that physicians fled Texas in great numbers prior to tort reform or returned in droves thereafter. To the contrary, by comparison to other states, Texas had a below-average physician-to-population ratio before tort reform and has a slightly worse ratio today.”

PRISONS: A bill that would form a committee providing, “continuing inspection and oversight” for TDCJ correctional facilities is stalled in the House Corrections Committee.

AUSTIN ENERGY: A proposal by Austin's Electric Utility Commission to shift control over many Austin Energy matters from Austin City Council to a standalone board of “public-power experts” will get a hearing at Austin City Council's Thursday meeting.

EQUALITY: Democratic state Senator John Whitmire's bill that would give gay and lesbian teens over age 14 the same ability to escape prosecution for consensual sexual conduct as straight teens, dubbed the “Romey and Romeo” bill, won committee approval yesterday.

GUNS: A bill that singles out gun manufacturers for tax incentives to encourage their relocation to Texas was approved on Tuesday by the Texas Senate.

SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: A bill that would prevent ticketing of students for Class C misdemeanors such as juvenile delinquency (e.g. cussing, shoving, writing on a wall, chewing gum), was approved unanimously by the Texas Senate last week.

VETERANS: The Statesman Editorial Board praises a successfulpeer-to-peer counseling programs for veterans who are battling mental health problems.

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