A little bit of lowdown on big things at the Capitol

After a slow start, the House kicked into overdrive this week as substantive bills reached the floor and committees started running late into the night... An attempt to tack a voter ID floor amendment on to a military ballot bill was quietly killed when author Rep. Betty Brown withdrew it; the next day, the Senate's voter ID bill, Senate Bill 362, was referred to House Elections... Meanwhile, legislators found themselves debating women's suffrage after revelations that the Tigua American Indian tribe does not grant women voting rights in tribal elections; tribal officials sought to calm lawmakers ahead of hearings on allowing casinos on the reservation near El Paso... Sen. Jeff Wentworth's proposal for a bipartisan congressional redistricting commission, SB 315, may have stalled after Sens. Dan Patrick and Glenn Hegar reversed their earlier votes, leaving Wentworth short of the 21 votes he needs for engrossment... Bad week for gun control: Legislators debated multiple bills expanding the number of places concealed handgun license holders can take their weapons to include university campuses and employers' parking lots... What were they teaching before? On March 31, the House Public Education Committee heard House Bill 741 and HB 1567, both ending the emphasis on abstinence-only sex ed and ordering the teaching of scientifically and medically accurate information... Sen. Jane Nelson's SB 476, elevating the role of nurses' staffing committees in deciding hospital staffing plans, passed the Senate last week; Rep. Donna Howard authored an identical House version... For breaking news and analysis, visit austinchronicle.com/legeland or sign up to www.twitter.com/legeland.

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81st Legislature, Tigua Indians, casinos, voter ID, nursing, gun control

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