Medical Marijuana Bill, Stickland's Caucus of One, Pain & Profit Lawsuit, Beto O'Rourke on CNN, Emmitt Smith's Development

Good morning!Here are the top political headlines from Austin, Washington, the campaign trail and Dallas.Points from Austin1. On a recent stormy night, inside the Capitol where he'd massacred countless ideas, some for good reason and others just to watch them die, the self-styled "bill killer" was finally hoping to pass one. "I've been waiting a long time for this moment," the man from Bedford said, pumping a single fist into the air. A whoop rang up from the back of the House as thunder rattled the chamber's windows.Stickland's bill passed 109-34. It will probably become law. But it might also be the not-so-momentous climax in a political career defined by contradiction, obstruction and a whole lot of losing -- including a major defeat late Tuesday night. The chamber's resident contrarian has become isolated and predictable, and his opponents hope, finally beatable.2. Texas is on its way to expanding the use of medical marijuana to cover a wider range of medical conditions than currently allowed by state law. The Senate on Monday unanimously passed House Bill 3703, by Fort Worth Republican Rep. Stephanie Klick, which allows specialty doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for certain ailments, listed here. Klick has indicated she'll accept the Senate's changes, so the bill will end up on the governor's desk to be vetoed or signed into law.3. A Collin County House lawmaker's plan to more deeply discourage anyone trying to drum up support for an individual income tax in Texas is headed to the November ballot. If voters agree with Plano GOP Rep. Jeff Leach, future proponents of a personal income tax would face an even steeper climb. One progressive tax analyst was stunned that 20 House Democrats provided Leach with critically needed votes.4. A giant insurance company is arguing that a brain-damaged toddler and his mom are stifling its freedom of speech. Superior HealthPlan, the state's largest Medicaid insurance company, refused to pay for nursing that the foster baby with severe birth defects needed.As a result, state records show, the baby suffered a catastrophic brain injury that left him in a vegetative state. After the tragic case of D'ashon Morris was exposed in a Dallas Morning News investigation last year, Linda Badawo, his adoptive mother, sued that insurance company. Now, in an effort to kill that lawsuit, lawyers are arguing the Badawo family is essentially suing to bully the multi-billion-dollar company and "chill" its right to free speech.5. Imagine the scene: You're sitting at a craft brewery in Texas enjoying a hoppy, frothy double IPA. You like it. It's refreshing. You want to buy a six-pack of the local brew to bring home. Only you can't, because Texas doesn't allow to-go beer sales from craft breweries. But maybe soon, you can.The Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday night that, on its face, renews the role of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. But the bill presented by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, was also a vehicle for a key amendment that has rankled beer industry leaders for years.6. Only Gov. Greg Abbott's signature is required for Texas to join more than a dozen states in requiring purchasers of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to be 21 years old. If Abbott signs Senate Bill 21, Texas would be the most populous Southern state to embrace so-called Tobacco 21 or "T21" legislation.7. Baleigh Zurn thought she took all the right classes to put her on track to graduate with a social work degree from Kilgore College this summer. But when she transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington, a class she took at Kilgore no longer counted toward her major. Each year, Texas college students like Zurn spend $60 million on academic credits that end up not counting toward a major, and some end up quitting. More than half of them start at a two-year school where tuition and fees are generally more affordable. Now, Texas legislators are working to improve how the state keeps these students on track.8. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says felons aren't eligible to run for office just because they had their voting rights restored. Paxton, who faces felony charges himself, issued his opinion Wednesday after Lewis Conway, Jr., a convicted felon, was allowed to run for local office in Austin.9. The action during the last week of the Legislature will be fast and furious, and a good way to keep up is with our state politics coverage site, the Texas Tracker: Your Guide to the State Legislature. You'll find stories, analysis and more from the Capitol. If you're a Dallas Morning News subscriber, you can customize your feed. Sign in, click the issues you want to follow, and you'll see only posts matching those topics.Points from the trail  Continue reading...

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