hot list: day 99

Day 99 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I don’t know that you can raise a tax high enough to curtail the consumption of things that are unhealthy for our children.”
Sen Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, on a bill to tax sodas.

Teachers may soon be laid off and nursing homes might close, but some Texas lawmakers are fighting to save money for an especially disenfranchised group: mega-yacht owners. As Forrest Wilder reports, the House Ways and Means committee heard a bill yesterday that would give a tax break on boats over $250,000.  

Texas lawmakers yesterday took one small step toward putting more money into the austere House budget that cuts $23 billion from current state spending. As Peggy Fikac of the Houston Chronicle reports, House budget writers approved a bill that would add $3 billion in non-tax revenue to the bare-bones 2012-2013 budget.  

Today the House will take up a number of bills, including one to outlaw salvia and a bill that would create an innocence commission to investigate cases of wrongful conviction. Meanwhile, there are rumors that the Senate may debate the sonogram bill. 

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.