Dan Patrick

Dan Patrick via YouTube

AUSTIN — A Texas Senate education panel is considering a sweeping but divisive voucher plan that would let families get state funding to send their children to private and religious schools.

The proposal championed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor promotes what they call “school choice” by letting parents remove students from struggling public schools.

The plan will be heard Thursday in Taylor’s committee, which is likely to eventually approve it to the full Senate.

danpatrick.org

AUSTIN — Top Texas conservatives are now seemingly one-upping each other by pledging deeper and deeper tax cuts as part of the 2016-2017 budget, with all sides insisting that the state’s economy will stay strong enough to cover the costs of vital services despite the loss in revenue.

Immigration activists are gathering in Austin Wednesday to rally for reforms. The activists have a long list of complaints. Among them is a demand that National Guard troops be removed from the border.

Last summer, Republican leaders at the Legislature approved the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, which cost taxpayers an estimated $12 million a month for each month of their deployment. They had stated that the extra security was needed to protect the state from illegal immigrants and cross-border crime.

Rep. Lyle Larson

A promise to cut taxes was on the agenda of nearly every GOP candidate who ran for a state office.  Now, some of the Republicans elected are saying tax cuts this legislative session aren’t such a good idea.  Texas Public Radio has been talking to area lawmakers about their priorities, and heard from one San Antonio Republican who's warning against the call for tax cuts that reverberated through the Texas Capitol last week.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is set on delivering tax cuts in this legislative session. He made that point clear while speaking to reporters about his priorities for the 84th Legislature.

The Texas Senate has delivered a proposed budget on Tuesday that includes $4 billion dollars in tax relief – including 3 billion dollars in property tax cuts and 1 billion for cuts to the business franchise tax.

However, Tax Cuts are not in the proposed budget in the Texas House. And that will have to reconciled.

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