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  • Are you ready to fest? The 2017 Texas Tribune Festival kicks off Friday with a series of events including a conversation between Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith and U.S. Sen. Al Franken. The Festival runs through Sunday with some of the biggest names in politics to explore the state’s — and nation’s — most pressing issues. Join us here for a liveblog of key moments from more than 60 panel discussions on education, climate change, President Trump, the role of media in 2017 and much more.  Watch: Community Forum on Race & Justice Coming up: Friday, Sept. 22 7 PM: One on One with...

  • Thanks for reading The Brief, our daily newsletter informing you on politics, public policy and everything in between. Forward this email to friends who may want to join us. They can sign up here. — CP What you need to know Texas again is facing off with its opponents in court today — this time, it's over the state's new immigration enforcement law. Here's what...

  • Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Donald Trump is supposed to be the big name in politics next year, even though he’s not going to be on the ballot. That’s how it goes for presidents. Voters vote with their thumbs in off-year elections: Up for popular presidents, down for unpopular ones. The results measure...

  • The immediate future of Texas' immigration-enforcement law hinges on how well the state’s attorneys argue on Friday that the legislation is both essential to public safety and should not have been partially blocked by a federal judge days before it was scheduled to go into effect. The state’s attorneys will again face off with opponents of the law, Senate Bill 4, but this time...

  • High schoolers, new drivers and police officers are all set to receive training in how to act during police interactions under a new state law that went into effect this month. But don’t expect these courses to start right away  — officials have barely begun creating them, and the courses are scheduled to begin next September. Senate Bill 30 was pitched to Texas lawmakers amid a growing...

  • As federal officials continue to send mixed signals about the fate of an Obama-era program that granted relief from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants, an upcoming deadline could determine their status in the United States. Assuming the Trump Administration moves forward with a plan it outlined in early September to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or...

  • HOUSTON — The elderly residents of 2100 Memorial, a publicly subsidized high rise along Buffalo Bayou, unleashed a torrent of criticism Thursday against public housing officials who issued them eviction notices this week. And since the building's first floor is still unusable after Hurricane Harvey's historic rains flooded it, the Houstonians had to pack the second floor of their parking garage to vent...

  • After prosecutors publicized information showing embattled state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, had spent more than $51,000 on an online psychic, Dukes’ attorneys fired back Thursday, accusing Travis County prosecutors of behaving inappropriately and trying to manipulate witnesses in the state representatives’ high-profile corruption case. Lawyers for Dukes argued in a response to prosecutors that Margaret Moore, the district attorney leading the charges against...

  • Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian. Two days after Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and the board's chair, Christi Craddick, clashed publicly at a state meeting, Sitton is asking Attorney General Ken Paxton to weigh in on his colleague's actions. And Craddick is accusing Sitton of seeking "an opportunity for political gain."  In a tense exchange Tuesday that...

  • WASHINGTON – In recent weeks, several Republicans in the U.S. House announced they would not return to Congress for another term. There’s a sense in the air that more retirements are coming, which leads to the question: Are any more Texans thinking about hanging it up?  Two out of the 38 Texans in Congress made clear months ago they weren't seeking re-election: U.S. Rep. Sam...

  • Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from the USDA. Two staffers for U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway and one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture were sent to a hospital near El Campo on Thursday after a major car wreck that interrupted a government tour of hurricane damage to agricultural production.  Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who was in...

  • Hurricane Harvey and a federal lawsuit are prompting shake-ups at four Texas prison facilities this week. About 3,300 inmates began transfers to other prisons on Thursday morning — a musical chairs scenario spurred by a federal judge's order that more than 700 heat-sensitive prisoners be moved into an air-conditioned facility. Those prisoners had been evacuated from a flood-prone facility to a notoriously hot prison in the midst of...