Hot List: Day 52

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Day 52 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

LINE OF THE DAY
“I’d rather go to jail than die in a nursing home.”
Bob Kafka, state leader of disabilities rights group ADAPT, reciting one of the chants activists yelled while camping outside Gov. Rick Perry’s office in protest to budget cuts.

FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
We love when representatives bring props to the House floor, and perhaps the highlight of yesterday’s pre-abortion sonogram bill debate was when one Democrat whipped out a vaginal probe to help her squash the legislation. But it was a procedural technicality rather than the probe that helped the Democrats delay the sonogram debate—by one day. 

OBSERVED
While University of Texas president Bill Powers offered the university’s proposed budget to the Senate Finance Committee, over 100 students took to the capitol hallways to protest. They argued against the Legislature’s proposed cuts to higher ed, and Powers’ particular choice of cuts in liberal arts and language programs. 

BEST OF THE REST
After the House had a long morning discussing but ultimately stalling the sonogram bill, State Affairs Committee members turned right around and headed for a long night taking up “sanctuary city” legislation. As the Dallas Morning News reports, emotional testimony lasted into the night regarding bills that would allow local law enforcement officers to ask for immigration status, something critics believe will inevitably lead to racial profiling. 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
After a delay for a technicality, representatives will have it out today over the most stringent pre-abortion sonogram legislation filed this session. Supporters say the bill just heightens existing informed consent law, while critics call the procedure invasive, unnecessary and governmentally intrusive. Expect fireworks.