March 2 2011

by Published on

Day 51 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

LINE OF THE DAY
“The superintendents tell me in private meetings, ‘Boy, if you could do that, I’d come cut your grass every Sunday,’ to which I reply, ‘You don’t have to do that; I live in a high-rise.”
-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to Houston Chronicle reporters on his belief that we can provide adequate funding for public schools without raising taxes.

FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
A bill to close a technical tax loophole and save the state a scant $20 million drew supporters from a variety of advocacy and policy groups not normally found paging through the tax code. What did the groups have in common? They’re all part of Texas Forward, a coalition promoting “balanced” approaches to the budget.” 

OBSERVED
It turns out water policy can be some pretty murky business. During a Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing yesterday, Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock drilled witnesses on fellow Republican Sen. Troy Fraser’s S.B. 332—legislation that critics fear could diminish the state’s ability to manage our groundwater resources.  

BEST OF THE REST
Turns out Texas Democrats still have some muscle to flex. Yesterday, Senate Democrats, led by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, blocked Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley’s nomination for chair of the Forensic Science Commission yesterday.  

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

Today the House will take up H.B. 15, a stricter version of the much contested pre-abortion sonogram bill passed in the Senate. Despite the air of inevitability, the debate promises to be lively and is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.