Patrick Michels

Hot List: Day 109 of the Legislature


Above: Texas State Capitol

The Lead:

The continuing battle against discrimination in the workplace spread to the House floor on Thursday. House members grew emotional  discussing Rep. Senfronia Thompson’s bill that would align Texas lawsuit practices with the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The talk shifted from a calm discussion on the bill to an impassioned debate on equal rights for women. Women reps from both parties banded together in support of the proposal, which eventually passed on a vote of 79 to 50.

The Senate is gone for the weekend. But the House will meet today and will vote on a $875 million supplemental spending bill that will augment state programs through August of this year. The bill, HB 1025, includes $500 million in public school funds.

Yesterday’s Headlines:

1. The House will soon hear a rapidly moving bill aimed at limiting political influence over state funding for technology projects. Good for transparency, not so good for Gov. Perry, whose Emerging Technology Fund has had an affinity for distributing grants to campaign contributors and friends of the governor.

2. The Austin American-Statesman reports that a bill to finance water infrastructure projects, one of the session’s major proposals, may not pass the House on Monday. The bill would steer $2 billion to finance the state water plan.

3. The Senate voted in favor of a bill that would require University of Texas regents to promptly respond to open records requests.

Line of the Day:

“We’ve had enough Bushes … It’s not just four families, or whatever.” —Former First Lady Barbara Bush, speaking from Dallas on the “Today” show on Thursday, responding to a question on whether her son and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would run for president in 2016.

What We’re Watching Today:

1. The House vote on a $875 million state spending bill today. The bill includes $500 million to be allotted for public schools.