Political Points: Texas House Speaker Extends Olive Branch to Democrats, Shutdown Votes Loom

Good morning!Here are the top political headlines from Austin, Washington and Dallas.Points from Austin1. The biggest news from Austin this week is new House Speaker Dennis Bonnen's committee assignments, which struck a decidedly bipartisan tone. James Barragán reports that Bonnen retained several high-ranking Republicans to lead important committees but also awarded Democrats 12 of 34 committee chairmanships. 2. A long-simmering feud between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Amarillo GOP Sen. Kel Seliger was reignited last week when Patrick, the Senate president, revealed that Seliger had lost his chairmanship of the Senate Higher Education committee and his seats on two others. He was instead named chairman of the Agriculture committee, but he's not anymore. Seliger accused Patrick of political retribution, and Patrick accused Seliger of making a "lewd comment" involving his staffer's lips and Seliger's "back end." Read all about it here. 3. Stay informed on what your state representatives and senators are up to with a video series about politics in the spirit of Schoolhouse Rock. The first installment is about how the state Legislature works.4. At our new site, 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.  Continue reading...

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