• The Morning Texan: Perry to sign abortion legislation

    According to the National Weather Service, today's chance of rain is dropping slightly. There is still a 20 percent chance of rain, but that is much lower than previously.

    Later this morning at 9:30 a.m., Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign abortion legislation into law. Follow @thedailytexan on Twitter for more updates.

    Here is some morning reading: 

    Yesterday's most read story online: Three UT students have created a new start-up company to provide custom design apparel to students and local businesses. Check out The Daily Texan's feature. 

    What you have to read: Later today, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will be finishing his campaign tour in Austin. Former Longhorn Quarterback Colt McCoy will introduce Abbott. 

    In case you missed it: Turkey is currently facing civil unrest arising from religious and political conflicts between the Turkish people and their government. Being a political, cultural and geographic bridge between the United States and the Middle East and an important American ally, Turkey’s current situation could impact its relations with America.

     

  • Rain hits UT Austin campus hard Wednesday afternoon

    A rain storm hit UT Austin's campus Wednesday afternoon, and the storm is ongoing at 5:15.

    According to the National Weather Service, the rain is expected to continue later into the night. The evening has a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms. The chance for rain decreases tomorrow to 20 percent. The chance of rain stays at 20 percent all weekend.

    The Student Activity Center is giving out free ponchos to help students survive the rain.

    Check back tomorrow for an update on the amount of rain UT received.

    Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard. 

     

  • Colt McCoy to introduce Greg Abbott

    Former UT quarterback Colt McCoy is making an appearance in Austin Thursday night at 5 p.m. to introduce Attorney General Greg Abbott as he continues his Texas tour.

    Abbott announced Sunday he is running for Texas Governor and since then has traveled the state to rally support. He has visited Houston, Lubbock and McAllen on his "Meet Greg Abbot Tour."

    McCoy, now playing for the San Francisco 49ers, was a quarterback for the Longhorns from 2006 to 2009.

    Abbott said he plans to make higher education a priority for the state if elected, along with focusing on small businesses, reducing government spending and securing the border.

    Abbott has served as the Texas attorney general since 2002 and reportedly raised more than $20 million for his campaign so far.

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.

  • Money for campus construction projects still in limbo

    Higher education institutions across Texas are still no closer to finding out whether they will get money to fund construction on campus this year.

    Legislation to appropriate money for these projects failed in the regular session back in May. Although lawmakers can still appropriate money for these projects in the current special session, they can only do so if Gov. Rick Perry adds the items to the agenda.

    Perry has not responded to repeated requests from lawmakers to add the items to the agenda, despite claims that not doing so could affect recruitment and retention.

    In a press conference Tuesday, Perry did not elaborate on his decision.

    “Once we get the transportation issue addressed and finalized, then we can have a conversation about whether or not there are any issues that we have the time and inclination to put on the call,” Perry said, according to The Texas Tribune.

    UT-Austin is hoping to receive $95 million from the state to complete its $310 million Cockrell Engineering Education and Research Center. Officials have said the building, scheduled to be completed in 2015, would be delayed without state funds.

  • UT regent chairman defends Wallace Hall in letter to Jim Pitts

    As the House Transparency Committee took a step closer to possibly impeaching UT System Regent Wallace Hall yesterday, board Chairman Gene Powell wrote a letter to Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, in defense of Hall’s actions.

    In a recent opinion piece in the Austin American-Statesman, Pitts criticized Hall’s large open records requests for information from UT-Austin. Pitts also filed a resolution in the House to impeach Hall last month. In the letter obtained by Texas Monthly, Powell defends Hall’s actions.

    “Clearly, Regent Hall’s activities are misunderstood and I fear may have been intentionally mischaracterized to you,” Powell said in the letter.

    Powell states that Hall, as with any member of the public, has the right to view the documents he requested under the Texas Public Information Act. Hall did not seek information protected by FERPA or HIPAA. According to Powell, Hall has used the information to improve the UT System and UT-Austin.

    “Regent Hall’s reviews of records have resulted in suggestions for process improvement and better governance at the U.T. System and at U.T. institutions,” Powell wrote. “He has provided observations about U.T. System and institutional inefficiencies and compliance concerns to Chancellor Cigarroa and to me.”

    Powell added that Hall had not shared confidential information to individuals outside of the UT System.

    The House Transparency Committee will continue to investigate Hall and plans on holding its next public hearing near the end of August. The committee has stated that it plans to use its subpoena power going forward in its investigation.

    Follow Jacob Kerr on Twitter @jacobrkerr.

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