Hot List: Day 53

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Day 53 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

LINE OF THE DAY
“Based on what I’ve read we don’t have any, so I don’t see what the big deal is.”
—Carrollton Republican Rep. Burt Solomons, author of the sanctuary city bill, on sanctuary cities.

FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
With all this talk about sanctuary cities and vaginal probes, one might forget that we have a $27 billion dollar budget crisis on our hands. Comptroller Susan Combs told budget writers Thursday there’s no way to pay the state’s bills for fiscal year 2011 without using part of the Rainy Day Fund—to say nothing of the looming deficit for 2012-2013.  

OBSERVED
House Democrats put up a long and arduous fight against the contentious pre-abortion sonogram bill last night. But after seven hours of debate, the bill passed on a 103-42 vote. The bill is even stricter than the version passed in the Senate last month.  

BEST OF THE REST
“Conservative groups told state lawmakers that a bill meant to prevent cyberbullying in schools may result in special protection for gay students,” reports the Dallas Morning News. Jonathan Saenz, of the conservative Liberty Institute, told lawmakers he feared the bill would “create special categories” for gay students. “It’s about gay rights,” he said. Apparently that’s a bad thing. 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
The Legislature is out for the weekend, but first thing Monday the House Appropriations Committee will take up a number of health and human services items, including budget recommendations from the Department of Aging and Disability Services and the Department of Family Protective Services.