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As the U.S. Supreme Court opened arguments this week on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, friends and foes of marriage equality took to the state Capitol steps Tuesday. Here, Gov. Rick Perry addresses a small gathering of people who turned out to hear him speak on Texas values. Later, supporters of gay marriage held a Light the Way to Justice rally on the north steps.
As the U.S. Supreme Court opened arguments this week on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, friends and foes of marriage equality took to the state Capitol steps Tuesday. Here, Gov. Rick Perry addresses a small gathering of people who turned out to hear him speak on "Texas values." Later, supporters of gay marriage held a "Light the Way to Justice" rally on the north steps. (Photo by John Anderson)

City Council today (March 28) may decide on development project duration rules, Downtown density bonus programs, and the East River­side Corridor Regulating Plan. Then again, they just might punt on everything. See "Everything Old Is New Again," and "Then There's This."

› The bypass culvert and downstream dam have been prepared, and Barton Springs Pool reopens for swimming at 5am, Saturday, March 30. It's been closed for repairs since Dec. 12, 2012.

Austin ISD is being sued for lack of transparency in plans for Eastside Memorial High. Former Eastside Campus Advisory Committee member Steve Swanson filed suit on March 27, alleging violations of the Texas Public Information Act.

› AISD announced this week that it is planning to extend health insurance benefits to domestic partners in September – including same-sex partners and cohabiting unmarried couples. Conservative group Texas Values was quick to invoke the slippery slope, calling the move a "reckless path."

› A UT-Austin student government proposal to encourage the campus police department to de-emphasize marijuana arrests -- issuing citations for less than four ounces -- was voted down Tuesday night. A UTPD official said that's roughly the policy now, for two ounces, with officers using their own discretion for larger quantities.

› Travis County District Judge Karen Sage officially adopted a jury's recommendation and sentenced former legislative aide Gabrielle Nestande to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation for running down Courtney Griffin on Exposition Boulevard in 2011. Griffin was killed in the hit-and-run.

› On Wednesday, closing arguments began in the San Angelo homicide trial of Mark Norwood, accused in the 1986 beating death of Christine Morton in Williamson County, the crime that sent husband Michael Morton to prison for 25 years before he was exonerated last year; DNA evidence tied Norwood to that case and the 1988 murder of Austinite Debra Baker. Baker's case has not yet been tried

› The Texas Senate on Monday passed Houston Dem Sen. John Whitmire's junk science bill, which allows defendants convicted based on junk or debunked science an enhanced ability to have their claims considered on appeal. SB 344 now moves to the House for consideration.

› Austin Rep. Mark Strama, owner of four Sylvan Learning Center test prep franchises locally, was one of only two votes in the Texas House against HB 5, which would slash the number and importance of end-of-course standardized tests in Texas schools. See "Lege Lines."

› This week the Supreme Court heard arguments in two marriage equality cases: Hollingsworth v. Perry, concerning the constitutionality of Cali­for­nia's Proposition 8, and United States v. Wind­sor, challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. The justices' comments suggest that the court may not yet be willing to rule for or against sweeping changes to nationwide marriage laws. The final decision is expected in June.

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