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Hot List Day 114

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Day 114 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“You know, there are several ways to skin a cat legislatively in this building.”
Sen Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, on his attempts yesterday to tack his concealed carry on campus bill to higher education reform legislation

In a three hour debate yesterday evening, lead budget writer Sen. Steve Ogden tried but failed to get the 21 needed votes to debate the Senate’s version of the budget. We highlight the three take-away moments from yesterday’s discussions, including the possibly of ditching the two-thirds rule to bring up the bill on the floor today. 

Yesterday the Texas House gave early approval to a bill that would create “Choose Life” specialty license plates. The money raised from the plates will be funneled to organizations that promote adoption, including crisis pregnancy centers. There’s also a special protection that prevents the fund from being raided by future lawmakers—a move we’ve seen a lot of this session.

Early in the session, lawmakers seemed serious about closing at least one of the controversial state-supported living centers to save money during this budget crisis. But as the Texas Tribune reports, those efforts have stalled, and may not be going anywhere. 

It’s yet another big budget day in the pink dome. After yesterday’s failed attempt to get the 21 votes needed to debate the Senate budget, Sen. Steve Ogden may abandon the two-thirds rule today and finally get a debate going on the upper chamber’s slightly larger budget. Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to debate and vote on two major fiscal matters bills.

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.