Vol 33, Issue 27 Print Issue

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings shakes Chief of Police David Brown's hand as former President Bush, President Obama, their wives, U.S. Sens. Cornyn and Cruz and others applaud on July 12, 2016.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings shakes Chief of Police David Brown's hand as former President Bush, President Obama, their wives, U.S. Sens. Cornyn and Cruz and others applaud on July 12, 2016.

Cruz Invited to Ride on Air Force One to Dallas Memorial

Also, Gov. Greg Abbott forced to skip the Republican National Convention as he receives treatment for severe burns and Donald Trump Jr. holds a Dallas fundraiser July 25.

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

Elementary and middle school students appear to be performing better on required state exams after four years of stagnant scores, but that's compared to old passing standards that no longer apply.

Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday announced U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin would be among the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this month.

Over three decades, the amount of money Texas spends on jails and prisons has grown at a much faster rate than what it spends on public schools, a new federal study finds, but schools still receive significantly more money.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was invited to the White House to participate in a town hall Thursday on race relations with President Barack Obama.

A baby born with microcephaly in Harris County is the first Zika-affected infant in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday.

U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro on Wednesday defended his overhaul of a federal program that sells bad mortgages to private investors, rejecting the idea it was driven by politics.

The University of Texas at Austin will give its faculty and staff the option of banning guns from their private offices when the state’s campus carry law goes into effect next month, under regulations UT System regents passed Wednesday.

Days after five police officers were killed by a lone gunman in downtown Dallas, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced legislation Wednesday that would make killing a police officer a federal crime.

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, announced Wednesday morning that he was recently diagnosed with leukemia and will spend the rest of the summer concentrating on this battle.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will not attend the Republican National Convention as he recovers from severe burns he suffered during a family vacation, according to his office. 

President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the best way to honor the lives of the officers is for Americans to put aside their differences and unite.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott made two appointments to the state's Commission on State Emergency Communications, which oversees poison control and 9-1-1 services. Ernestine Robles of Garden Ridge and William “Bill” Buchholtz of San Antonio, who was reappointed, will serve terms until Sept. 1, 2021.

Abbott named emergency physician Robert Greenberg of Belton the chairman of the Advisory Council on Emergency Medical Services, the group that makes recommendations on the state's EMS/trauma system. Abbott also named six others to the council: He appointed Jeffrey Barnhart of Canyon, Sheila Faske of Rose City and Robert Isbell of Midland and reappointed Ryan Matthews of Holliday and Robert Vezzetti of Austin to serve until Jan. 1, 2022, and Mike Clements of Cypress until Jan. 1, 2020.

SD-13 candidate Borris Miles announced endorsements in the past week from Houston’s current mayor, Sylvester Turner, and its most recent mayor, Annise Parker. Democratic precinct chairs in the district meet Saturday to choose who will take the spot on the ballot belonging to state Sen. Rodney Ellis, who has chosen to run instead for Harris County commissioner.

Senfronia Thompson, another contender for the SD-13 seat, received an endorsement this week from Annie’s List, an organization dedicated to electing more pro-choice women to office.

State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, has been chosen to serve as chairman of the Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference. The SLC is the Southern office of The Council of State Governments. It met this week in Lexington, Kentucky, for its 70th annual meeting during which representatives from 15 states shared information and best practices.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, has named two people, Nick Canedo and Kelly Josh, to its leadership team. Canedo, a San Antonio native who previously worked at the nonprofit Rainforest Alliance in New York, will takeover as CPPP's director of development. Josh, previously at the Texas Defender Service, will join CPPP as its director of finance and administration.

The new government relations consulting firm Grace & McEwan has hired its first associate, Andrea Chavez, who previously worked in the government law and policy section at the law firm Greenberg Traurig. She was a field representative for the Texas Republican Party over the 2014 elections.

Michael Drankoski is joining Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP to serve as the law firm's executive director. Drankoski was previously the director of administration in Norton Rose Fulbright's Dallas office.

Disclosure: The Center for Public Policy Priorities and Greenberg Traurig have been financial sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.