Last-minute changes to House Bill 1025, a spending bill that has been the glue for the Texas budget, is now causing things to fall apart.
Lawmakers in the Texas House said they are shocked by the changes tacked on to a supplemental spending bill still awaiting a final vote, and have said they will not send the legislation to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, has broken their agreement regarding an additional $200 million in education funding.
At this point in the legislative calendar many bills are facing a looming demise, but Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said he has found another way to get money for transportation needs.
"One of the obvious ways is to take some money in the budget and devote it to our energy related zones that have borne the burden of most of the oil and gas production. They are just simply deteriorating and they’re not safe anymore," Darby said.
After meeting for hours behind closed doors, House Democratic leaders declined the Republican deal on the state’s budget bill.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, the vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus, said House Democrats are unified in their stance against the budget in its current form, which promises $3.2 billion for education funding.
When cities and counties try to attract big businesses, they have several tools in their toolbox. Tax abatements or breaks to businesses that bring jobs have become the new normal, so are they worth it?
Today we talk with Brian Kelsey, professor at the University of Texas, Austin and principle at Civic Analytics, and with David Marquez from Bexar County Economic Development about what these all mean and why cities and counties are going this route.
Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, a house leader on the Legislative Budget Board, said the joint committee has hit snags in several areas, but has reached a tentative agreement on some key spending issues in regard to Senate Bill 1, the state budget bill.
"Hopefully we will have an agreement sometime today on public education," Pitts said, adding that they were discussing $3.2 billion for public education would be taken from the state general revenue and property tax appraisals.
Family and friends of the Kaufman County district attorney and his wife who were killed last weekend are starting to move on following a public memorial service. Evidence of a motive is driving the investigation in the direction of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Rick Perry is offering a reward for tips that lead to arrests in the case and says authorities should also look at drug cartels; one expert doesn't think that cartel involvement is likely. Finally, an update on the Texas Legislature's budget, which passed the house last night.
Both Republicans and Democrats say it will be a long day as the House considers a Senate budget bill. An amendment added by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, addresses the possibility of Medicaid expansion in Texas.