Hot List Day 100

Day 100 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I’m concerned about imposing white middle-class values on low-income people who are focused on doing the best they can to keep food in their children’s stomachs.”
State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, on why he voted against a bill that would limit the use of food stamps for candy, cookies and sodas.

After weeks of scouring for extra money to help balance its budget, the Senate finally revealed its list of ideas yesterday, which total to about $5 billion. Most of state Sen. Robert Duncan’s “non-tax revenue items” are accounting tricks and fees and don’t address the larger structural deficit. “This is a one time fix,” he said of the list.

Leave it to the Texas Legislature to make it harder for Texans to fight polluters. In yesterday’s House debate of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s sunset bill, Republicans added several amendments which now make it harder for citizens and the agency to fight big industries. 

The House Redistricting Committee voted on a new map of House districts yesterday. This one adds two Hispanic seats—rather than eliminating one like the original map. Still, while chairman Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, says the map will get federal approval, committee Democrats were not satisfied that it accurately reflects Hispanic population growth in Texas.  

“Fasten your seat belts, here we go,” Sen. Steve Ogden, the lead Senate budget writer, said yesterday. The Senate Finance Committee will vote today on fees and accounting tricks that members hope will raise enough revenue to prevent drastic budget cuts. They’ll also vote on a major school finance bill. 

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