Texas Lt. Gov. Calls Out House Members at End of Legislative Session

  • Texas Lt. Gov. Calls Out House Members at End of Legislative Session

Texas Lt. Gov. Calls Out House Members at End of Legislative Session

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick issued an ultimatum to the Texas House on Wednesday, May 17, saying he must see passage of two of his priorities - property tax relief and limits on transgender-friendly bathroom policies - before the Senate will act on key legislation to keep some state agencies operating.

"This cruel legislation would line the pockets of the wealthiest individuals and corporations through tax breaks of more than $600 billion, all while ripping away health coverage from 23 million Americans", he said in a statement.

According to the Texas Tribune, the plan had initially been approved receiving overwhelming support in the state's House of Representatives in a 113 to 32 vote. Rep. Harold Rogers, who called the cuts "very harmful", predicted "it will be very hard in both bodies to pass a budget proposal".

After 10 days and an estimated cost of $306,000, the Legislature left the Capitol having passed one bill, which extends a fund used to subsidize Workers' Compensation premium payments for volunteer fire departments through June 30, 2020 (SB 1010). House and Senate negotiators agreed to make one change - requiring that information be printed on white paper.

But lawmakers say there's no timetable for when it will be made public.

Hinojosa said she had not received an explanation from the conference committee about why the funding was stripped. When asked whether overhauling the tax code might prove a lighter lift, Senator Pat Toomey said, "I allow that's a possibility".

The cities of San Antonio and Corpus Christi don't jail people for their inability to pay low-level fines, Zaffirni said before the Senate vote, adding, "Even though imprisoning the poor for the inability to afford to pay fines is unconstitutional, it's happening across this state".

President Trump's budget would cut funding for West Coast quake early warning system.

The latest legislative logjam comes the day before lawmakers are supposed finish up their work and head home for the next two years. A Conference Committee will be appointed when the Legislature reconvenes in Extraordinary Session June 5. But the Legislature never appropriated the money, and eight years later the program's coffers remain empty. They lost, but the legal maneuvering tied up the budget cuts in court for more than a year. A spokesman for Abbott did not respond to a request for comment.

While Patrick is holding onto a significant bargaining chip, only Gov. Greg Abbott can call a special session. She was later named as the lead plaintiff in a 2014 class-action lawsuit that claimed the state had criminally neglected some 12,000 children in its long-term foster care system to the point of violating their civil rights. Assuming this all goes well, which is assuming a lot, the remaining months of October and November would be spent hammering out a 2018 budget deal that could pass the Senate in December, and provide reconciliation instructions for tax reform that would expire September 30, 2018.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the $217 billion document Saturday.