Hot List Day 112

Day 112 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“Four years ago, the governor said we didn’t even need one. And in fact, the governor tried to get us to liquidate it.”
State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, on Gov. Rick Perry’s views of the Rainy Day Fund

Last week, several House Democrats held a press conference to applaud the Senate delays in passing the budget, and even floated the idea of a special session. “My sense is there’s nothing to lose,” said one member. While the budget and the cuts may not get better in a special session, they may get more attention. And that’s probably what a lot of Democrats want. 

Last week it appeared lead Senate budget writer Steve Ogden had enough votes to debate the Senate’s larger version of the budget, which also dips into the Rainy Day Fund. But as Patti Hart of the Houston Chronicle writes, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst threw a wrench in all that when he told reporters he was “surprised” senators wrote a budget using the Rainy Day Fund. The remarks seem to have cost some senators’ trust and potentially their willingness to support the budget. 

The Texas Senate could take up its budget on the chamber floor as early as today, provided there are enough votes to debate the bill. Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to continue debating the Railroad Commission sunset bill and pass a final vote on the Texas Department of Transportation sunset legislation.

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