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Hot List Day 84

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Day 84 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“Help me understand and explain to the people of Texas that we’re going to spend millions of dollars on tourism and movie production but we’re going to be cutting back Medicaid, letting teachers go.”
State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, on incentives and tax breaks for the film industry

Miss the House budget debate? Abby Rapoport broke it down to the most interesting moments—from the when a Christian conservative member got asked to define “pan-sexual” to the freshman Tea Party Republican who voted against the budget. “We should have started with corporate welfare and not with community colleges, not with the nursing homes,” explained Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, who was one of only two Republicans to vote against the bill.

As the House budget debate wore on on Friday night, around 30 protesters gathered outside the Capitol to protest the austere cuts made in the House budget bill. But it wasn’t just protesters that chanted “Say No to HB1.” As Daniel Setiawan writes, some House Democrats got fired up as well. 

With all the discussion of budget cuts, it’s enough to make you want a drink. But if you’re into the fancier beers, you better not want one from Texas. While beers from other states can get sold anywhere, under current law, our 29 Texas brewpubs can’t sell beer on-site and can’t market their beers in grocery or liquor stores. But as the Austin American-Statesman reports, the coalition Texas Beer Freedom is out to change all that.

The House budget debate may have left us all mentally exhausted, but today it’s business as usual for House committees. The Business and Industry, Ways and Means and Homeland Security and Public Safety are all scheduled to meet. 

Alexa Garcia-Ditta is an Observer reporter (and former intern) covering women's health, reproductive health and health care access across the Lone Star State. Before joining the Observer, she was a staff news writer at the San Antonio Current. She holds an MA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and BA in journalism and Spanish from UT-Arlington, where she worked for three years on her college newspaper. After graduate school, she dipped her toe in public policy communications at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. When she's not at work, she's probably training for her next marathon.