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Day 70 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“We have no desire to put hospitals out of business, but they have to take us seriously.”
State Rep. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, on his bill that would fine hospitals for “patient dumping,” or discharging homeless patients to shelters without follow-up care

Democrats have little hope of defeating the voter ID bill this week in the House. But as Abby Rapoport writes: “This particular piece of legislation may very well be tied up in lawsuits for years. And today, Democrats can lay some of the groundwork for those future cases.” If passed, it would be the strictest voter ID law in the nation.  

Melissa del Bosque details a Homeland Security bill filed by state Sen. Tommy Williams calling for driver’s license checkpoints and a license plate reader program. Like the House’s “sanctuary city” bill, it doesn’t prevent officers from asking for immigration status. As if we didn’t have enough problems this session. 

Gov. Rick Perry has made some blunders this session, from misleading lawmakers about additional savings to skirting blame for teacher layoffs. As Peggy Fikac writes in the Houston Chronicle, he’s also been “a thorn in the side of House budget writers” and hasn’t exactly provided any direction for the GOP. Are these moves negotiation tactics or purely politics? 

The House is scheduled to debate the infamous voter ID bill today. Democrats have successfully killed this contentious legislation in the past. But with the Republican super majority in the House this session and with Hispanic Republicans’ support, the bill is likely to pass.

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