State budget clears second reading after extended debate

State budget clears second reading after extended debate

Debate on the 2018-19 state budget was expected to continue into the night in the Texas House on Thursday, but not before Democrats had managed funnel more money into human services programs and to demonstrate that school vouchers have scant support in the GOP-dominated lower chamber.

"This budget balances by cutting spending. It is standard revenue accounting practices to collect payments, deposit and reconcile them next month", stated Senate Republican Caucus Chair and former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). "This budget does not rely on budget gimmickry".

The April 6 House vote came one week after the Texas Senate voted 18-13 in favor of a bill to create education savings accounts and a tax credit scholarship program to fund private school tuition. More than 400 amendments have been filed.

While I'm disappointed that House leadership couldn't get a budget passed today, I am encouraged that the Senate has moved swiftly to take up my budget as a starting point for their deliberations.

In their version of the budget, the House wants to use $2.5 billion dollars from the state's rainy day fund.

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The gym's general manager, Janine Ackerman, 35, and trainer Mario Hortis, were two people wounded in the shooting. Witnesses report hearing five shots and say Wilson opened fire on a man standing behind the counter at the gym.

AUSTIN-The Texas House of Representatives rejected school vouchers, voting 103-44 for a budget amendment that would prohibit public money for self-described "school choice" measures.

This is because the house and the senate will appoint approximately five members to a conference committee and those members will negotiate the differences in the two budgets and hopefully arrive at an agreement.

In a statement, Taylor said it was unfortunate that House members didn't hear the details of SB 3 before Thursday's vote. While the new engineering building is under construction, students will be able to work toward their engineering degree with the support of the Texas House, which approved over $1.6 million in funding over the biennium for the College of Engineering.

The biggest drama of the night came after Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) filed an amendment to nix funds for a $900,000 agriculture program meant to mass exterminate wild hogs in order to stop the "hogapocalypse", as it's been called. At first, the effort failed, after a drawn-out debate a vote was taken and the outcome was not changed.

Republicans control the Texas House and Senate.

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Republicans' biggest success as of 5 p.m. was in passing an amendment directing the state's Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to reduce administrative costs tied to the hospital provider fee.

Another fund controlled by Abbott, this one to promote Texas tourism, was tapped send $25,000 to a program to battle the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Following the failure of the committee's budget, a conservative faction in the House proposed an alternative that would have reduced expenditures by $200 million, which was convincingly scuttled by a margin of 282 to 75. A lot of us hoped there would be a lot less money would be put into border security.

The House's two-year budget proposal is $500 million more than the plan the Texas Senate passed last week.

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