Joe Straus

Ryan Poppe

Legislation to reform school funding is “dead.”  That’s what Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement late Wednesday.

The biggest rift over the school funding bill boiled down to vouchers backed by Patrick.  He pressed the Senate to add vouchers to the House’s legislation.

Ryan Poppe

Lawmakers in the Texas Senate have passed a two-year budget that would require local property owners to pay a bigger chunk of the public education tab.  It's a budget that seems on a direct collision course with House's budget.

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature’s two houses have about nine weeks to approve a balanced two-year budget. But disagreement over accounting “gimmickry” is dividing lawmakers in the House and Senate. The Senate finance committee approved a $107 billion budget, but House Speaker Joe Straus says that the senators relied on questionable accounting practices to avoid tapping into the state’s rainy day fund, a savings account funded mainly by oil and gas tax revenue.

Ryan Poppe

Texans from across the state are at the State Capitol in Austin today telling lawmakers how they feel about the Texas Privacy Act, better known as the Transgender Bathroom Bill.  More than 400 signed up to testify at the first public hearing on legislation that has implications for businesses and families.

Ryan Poppe

Tuesday afternoon, members in the Texas House of Representatives opened the legislative session by unanimously reelecting Rep. Joe Straus as House Speaker.  This will be the fifth time they’ve chosen the San Antonio Republican to lead their chamber. 

Straus’ re-election Tuesday was part of the ceremony that’s marks every  first day of a legislative session….  But this time was different

In the past tea party conservatives have aggressively campaigned against the more moderate Straus- they’ve tried to unseat him. This time Straus had no opponents.

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