Hot List: day 78
Day 78 of the 82nd Texas Legislature
LINE OF THE DAY
“This is the largest undeveloped casino market in the United States.”
FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
You’d think that with a $27 billion budget shortfall and now cuts that would catastrophically affect hundreds of thousands of Texans, our state leaders would get a jolt back to reality. But as Abby Rapoport writes in her latest print column, they are still living in a “land of ideological purity,” and not even a report projecting that the budget will result in 300,000 job losses can bring them back down to earth.
Lawmakers have yet to sincerely broach the idea of repealing big-business tax exemptions to help raise revenue this session, but the Senate Finance Committee at least started talking about it. As Ari Phillips writes, state Sen. Rodney Ellis laid out a bill yesterday calling for a “periodic review of state and local tax ‘preferences,’ i.e. favorable tax policies for corporations.”
BEST OF THE REST
The Austin American Statesman looks at a host of environmental bills, ranging from “recycling TVs to disclosing chemicals used in natural gas drilling” that enviro groups and legislators think have a good chance at passing all because of one common thread — in this tight-budget session, they come at no cost to the state.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
The House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee will hear several gambling-related bills this morning, while anti-bullying legislation is back up in the House Public Education Committee this afternoon.