hot list: day 107


Day 107 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I’ve believed all along that we could close our budget with a combination of some tweaking of state law, a couple of additional non-priority cuts and with our non-tax revenue,”
—Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst disagreeing with the Senate’s proposal to use more of the Rainy Day Fund.

You mean it might not be safe to shoot pigs from a helicopter? The so-called ‘pork chopper’ bill, designed to rein in the rampant infestation of feral hogs by allowing “sportsmen” to hunt from helicopters, ran into some obstacles in the Senate Natural Resources committee yesterday. Senators raised a number of concerns about the bill, which flew through the House, including whether shooting hogs from helicopters endangers other wildlife. The bill was left pending while senators try to craft a new version.  

The Texas House passed a bill yesterday that would tax some online retailers like Amazon for sales made in Texas. As the Statesman‘s Barry Harrell writes, “By voting 122-23 to pass House Bill 2403 by Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, lawmakers made their clearest statement to date that they are siding with state Comptroller Susan Combs in her push to force Amazon and other online retailers to collect taxes on sales made to Texans.”  

The Texas House is scheduled to take on the redistricting bill today. Redrawing district maps for the next 10 years is never easy. Sure enough, some conservative Republicans and minority Democrats are displeased with the redistricting plan in the House.