hot list: day 127

Day 127 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I’m afraid that this gambling issue is being raised and it could hold the schoolchildren of Texas hostage.”
Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, on a new Senate subcommittee to consider gambling legislation.

Senate and House lawmakers continue to butt heads over the budget. Yesterday, the Senate voted 30-1 to spend $3.97 billion of the Rainy Day Fund to balance the current biennium’s budget deficit—$800 million more than originally approved by the House. But that’s just for 2010-2011. The budget deficit for the next two years is a different story.  

That famously bipartisan issue, voter ID, was passed out of the House yesterday and is on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill, which requires an individual to present a valid photo identification to vote, is the strictest of its kind and has been a point of contention between Republicans and Democrats for the past decade. But As the Houston Chronicle’s Gary Scharrer writes, if the bill becomes law, it will most likely be challenged in court.  

With less than two weeks left, the Senate is still trying to forge a new school finance reform plan, while major fiscal bills remain unheard in the House. Meanwhile, SB 9, the omnibus homeland security, bill will get its hearing in House committee this morning. 

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