Texas Lunch Links: How to Talk to a Conservative, and Taxpayer-Funded Prison Bailouts

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Texas Lunch Links is a lunchtime buffet of Texas News and Views with a heavy emphasis on happenings at the Texas Legislature.

TALK TO A CONSERVATIVE: A new study that examines attitudes about energy efficient products among liberals and conservatives may provide environmentalists a clue about how to get conservatives to buy into energy efficient products.

WAKE UP LONGHORNS: Three prominent University of Texas alumni have underwritten a campaign and a video critizing Rick Perry and his appointees to the UT System Board of Regents. The video accuses Governor Goodhair and the UT regents of trying to tear down the UT System, and it calls on longhorns to “Wake Up”. Watch the video below the fold.

ONE WATER BILL DEAD: House Bill 11, which would have provided low-interest loans for water supply and conservation projects through $2 billion appropriated from Texas' economic stabilization fund, was killed on Monday when State Representative Sylvester Turner raised a point of order. At least two other bills that could fund water supply projects, one in the Texas Senate and the other in the Texas House, are still alive.

SPACE COWBOYS: Texas' bid to bring the private space company SpaceX to Brownesville got a small boost on Monday when the state House passed a bill that would protect companies launching rockets in some areas of Texas from noise complaints.WEST EXPLOSION: West Fertilizer Co. is stonewalling reporters investigating the company's compliance with state and federal regulations preceding the deadly explosion at their plant on April 17th.

TAXPAYER-FUNDED TEXAS PRISON BAILOUTS: The legislative proposal to bailout a corporation and a Texas town by buying up their unneeded empty prisons is catching heat. Senator John Whitmire told the Houston Chronicle, “I am fighting night and day to keep from buying a prison that everyone will tell you they are going to board up… Can you imagine? People all over Texas ought to start a revolution over that.” The Fort Worth Star Editorial Board also editorialized against the proposal today.

STAAR TESTING Twenty-five percent of fifth graders failed the math section of the STAAR exam, and twenty-three percent failed the reading section, according to test results released on Monday by the Texas Education Agency.

MORE ON EDUCATION: A bill that would eliminate writing exams for fourth and seventh graders in Texas is on the move at the Legislature.



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