83rd Legislature

Eileen Pace / TPR

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said his plan uses a portion of the Rainy Day Fund without actually taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund.

"What it does is once you pass a certain threshold and as the fund approaches filling, which it got pretty close, then it would splinter part of that off for constitutionally dedicating some of that revenue stream to transportation," Nichols said.

Nichols says this will allow the Rainy Day Fund to continue to grow, but not as quickly. Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, helped solidify the financing portion of the plan.

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) / cc

The first non-redistricting bills have begun to trickle in at the state capitol for the special session.  

So far none of the legislation has been placed on the special session agenda by Gov. Rick Perry, but the first bill unrelated to the focus of redistricting was filed by Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands.

Toth's bill was modeled after a bill filed in the regular session that makes it a crime to enforce any new federal guns laws.

National Weather Service

Texas House members are urging Gov. Rick Perry to call for reforming various governmental programs during the special session.

Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-League City, is hoping the governor will call for lawmakers to change the funding structure for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, a quasi-governmental group that provides reduced-rate insurance coverage against a hurricane.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law bill providing $2 billion for water-related projects . The bill provides the funding for the next 50 years of water-projects.

"It should help supply our water supply for generations, even though we are expecting rapid population increases and economic growth. Water is an essential part of everyone’s life, it is ensuring that those adequate supplies are available, means better jobs, it means stronger communities, it means healthier families," Perry said.

rickperry.org

At the start of the legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry outlined several agenda items, one of which was over $1 billion dollars in tax cuts for businesses.

A bill calling for additional transparency and effectiveness of those tax cuts was added as an amendment, but taken off when voted on in the Texas House and also faced the threat of a veto by the governor.

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