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Day 65 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

LINE OF THE DAY
“At Least My Gun Will Go to College.”
Sign held by a student at Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School during a protest of Gov. Perry, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

FLOOR PLAY BY ABBY RAPOPORT
House budget writers reached a deal with the governor’s office yesterday to spend $3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the 2011 budget. But, as Alexa Garcia-Ditta writes in a guest Floor Play column, “We may have come a long way, but we have an even longer way to go—the state is still about $24 billion short to maintain its current services for the next two years.” 

OBSERVED
Yesterday’s budget bill was “one step forward, two steps back,” writes Dave Mann. That’s because Gov. Perry, while agreeing to use the Rainy Day Fund for 2011, took a hard line on using the emergency fund for 2012-2013. “Without the Rainy Day Fund, the 2012-2013 budget would implement cuts that might cripple the state.” 

BEST OF THE REST
The Houston Chronicle reports that Gov. Rick Perry has been making robo calls for Empower Texans—the right-wing group that tried to oust Speaker Joe Straus. Perry says in his message that voters should pressure lawmakers “not to raise taxes or grow government.” The speaker can’t be thrilled with these calls. 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
The grim budget work continues today. The House Appropriations subcommittees on education, and health and human services will both be meeting. Those are the two highest profile—and most expensive—areas of the budget.

Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.

Published at 2:29 pm CST
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