Hot List Day 88

Day 88 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I’m concerned about limiting freedom and making people criminals for reading an electronic message.”
State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, on his opposition to the texting-while-driving ban passed in the House yesterday

Was a key tax break analysis kept from lawmakers? While lawmakers grapple with an unprecedented budget shortfall, almost no one had seen a nine-page report from the Legislative Budget Board that details a $1.2 billion tax break for high cost natural gas producers.

The House Energy Resources committee is considering a bill that would give cities the power to decide where natural gas pipelines go within their cities’ limits. Under current law, cities are helpless against the powers of the natural gas companies. But maybe not for long. 

An 18-page list of ideas to generate new revenue was leaked yesterday as senators are grappling with ways to add more money to the state budget. The Austin American Statesman’s Jason Embry lays out some of the key moneymakers off the list, including closing a state supported living center in Austin. 

A bill to allow those with concealed handgun licenses to carry their guns on university and community college campuses stalled in the Senate yesterday, but bill author Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, plans to bring it back up on Monday. Wentworth’s bill hit a snag when two Democratic senators withdrew their support. 

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Alexa Garcia-Ditta is a staff writer (and former intern) covering women's health, reproductive health and health care access.