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AM Update: Education in the Texas Senate, Elgin Sausage Recall, Immigrant Housing Law Rebuked

Sen. Florence Shaprio will not run for re-election, opening a position with the Senate Education Committee.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath, Texas Tribune
Sen. Florence Shaprio will not run for re-election, opening a position with the Senate Education Committee.

New Chair for Texas Senate Education Committee

The chair of the Texas Senate Education Committee will play a key role in shaping policy during the 2013 session. State Senator Florence Shapiro’s two decade-long term ends this year and she announced last fall that she wouldn’t seek re-election. KUT’s reporting partners at The Texas Tribune report on possible contenders for the position.

The names most frequently mentioned as contenders for the position are Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston. Philosophically, the two men have differences — Seliger has publicly tangled with Tea Party megaphone Michael Quinn Sullivan; Patrick is one of that movement’s most vocal advocates in the upper chamber. But a better indicator of how they might contrast as the Senate’s chief on education policy may be the makeup of their home districts.

Senator Jane Nelson, current chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee, may also be a contender. The Lieutenant Governor appoints committee chairs.

Elgin Sausage Recalled

The USDA announced today that Elgin’s Southside Market and Barbeque will recall almost 25-hundred pounds of ready-to-eat beef sausage. Routine testing discovered that the product might contain lysteria.  Food contaminated with Lysteria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which is described to be a potentially fatal diseaseThe sausage was produced on March 5, and distributed to retail warehouses across the state. For a full list of products recalled from Southside Market and Barbeque, visit the USDA website.

There have yet to be any reports of illness.

Law Banning Illegal Immigrants from Gaining Housing Overturned

The Associated Press reports a ruling has been upheld stating the City of Farmers Branch, outside of Dallas, has no authority to restrict housing for illegal immigrants.

The Wednesday ruling from the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals came after Farmers Branch appealed an earlier decision made by U. S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle, which determined a law passed by the city was unconstitutional.  The law required city building inspectors to check the immigration status of anyone who was trying to rent an apartment and was not a citizen, said the AP.

In the opinion of the court, the law “contravenes the federal government’s authority over the regulation of immigration and the conditions of residence in this country,” reports the AP.Glancy, said he supports efforts to keep illegal immigrants out of Farmers Branch.

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