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Top Morning Stories for January 26, 2011

Senate Committee OKs Voter ID

For the third consecutive session, Texas GOP members are trying to get a Voter ID bill through the Senate. A Committee of the Whole Tuesday voted in favor of the bill, which would require voters to show photo ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, personal ID card, or passport, before voting.

Republicans say the measure is necessary to combat election fraud, and Governor Rick Perry has called it an “emergency issue."  Democrats argue it would disenfranchise some voters including minorities and the elderly.  (The Statesman’s Mike Ward put together this list of the top ten reasons for and against the bill). A final floor vote is expected by Thursday.

Round Rock ISD Raises Budget Deficit Projection

The Round Rock Independent School District initially expected a $17 million reduction in state funding for the 2011-2012 school year. Now that draft House and Senate budget proposals are out, the district estimates it will lose between $47 million to $73 million in state funding.  Read more about how RRISD plans to close its budget shortfall here.

TCEQ to Vote on Coal Fired Plant

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will vote this morning on an air quality permit application for a coal-fired plant proposed for Corpus Christi. The Environmental Protection Agency has asked the commission to deny the permit. You can read more from KUT's Erika Aguilar here.