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Top Morning Stories June 15, 2011

The controversial sanctuary cities bill cleared the Texas Senate overnight.
KUT News
The controversial sanctuary cities bill cleared the Texas Senate overnight.

Senate Approves Sanctuary Cities Bill

The Texas Senate has passed controversial immigration legislation.  The so-called sanctuary cities bill would let law enforcement officers question people legally detained about their immigration status.  The vote broke along party lines with all Senate Republicans voting for it and all Democrats against it. 

Republican lawmakers say the bill would help protect Texans from criminals in the U.S. illegally.  Democratic lawmakers say it will lead to racial profiling and deter witnesses and victims of crimes from contacting police. The sanctuary cities legislation now heads to the Texas House.

Julian Aguilar, with KUT's political reporting partner The Texas Tribune, has more on the debate.

House Gives Preliminary OK to Congressional Map

The Texas House gave tentative approval yesterday to a congressional redistricting plan. Democrats argue the proposed map would limit the representation of minority voters. SB 4 still faces a final vote in the House, but lawmakers acknowledge new congressional boundaries likely will be settled in court.

LCRA to Vote on Major Contract for Coal Plant

Today the Lower Colorado River Authority's Board will discuss and possibly vote on a contract to sell up to 25,400 acre-feet of water a year to White Stallion Energy Center for a power plant proposed in Matagorda County.  The LCRA is a major water distributor for Central Texas, and some are worried about how this deal would affect current water customers. 

White Stallion would be paying $55 million to the LCRA, in part for the construction of a new reservoir for the plant's use.  The LCRA has more details on the proposed contract here.