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Hot List: Day 73

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Day 73 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

LINE OF THE DAY
“Don’t try to make it more difficult for my people to be able to have the ability to vote.”
State Rep. Dawna Dukes, D-Austin, arguing against the voter ID bill during yesterday’s marathon debate. The measure ultimately passed in a party-line vote.

FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
There are several bills giving school districts “local control” by exempting them from certain state requirements. But as Abby Rapoport writes, telling school districts they have choices while drastically cutting their budgets is “like telling somebody they can choose to go out anywhere for dinner—as long as the restaurant is entirely vegan.” 

OBSERVED
In his latest blog post, Dave Mann looks at a bill by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, that would increase access to DNA testing for inmates who say they’ve been wrongfully convicted. Inmates could seek testing if they’re never been tested or “if new, more modern testing techniques have since been developed.” 

BEST OF THE REST
The House Appropriations Committee approved a House version of the budget early yesterday morning. House Bill 1 cuts $23 billion from current spending levels, drastically reducing some crucial programs. The San Antonio Express-News reports that while the House likely has the votes to pass such a draconian budget, the Senate may be a a different story. 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
While the House has sent its budget to the printers, members of the Senate Finance committee will continue working today of its version. Subcommittees on public education and Medicaid, as well as the full committee, are scheduled to meet this morning.