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Budget Debate Tackles School Funding, Incentive Programs

State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, carries literature laying out House Bill 1 as he prepares to discuss the appropriations bill on the House floor March 31, 2015.
State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, carries literature laying out House Bill 1 as he prepares to discuss the appropriations bill on the House floor March 31, 2015.

With more than 350 proposed amendments before then, the Texas House is likely to go well into the evening before getting to a final vote on the $210 billion budget. Early discussions addressed school funding and incentives programs.

FBI at Health Commission Asking About 21CT

Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek
Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek

FBI agents have interviewed Texas Health and Human Services Commission employees about the agency's problematic contract with Austin firm 21CT, Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek said Thursday, the first time any official with direct knowledge of the FBI's involvement has confirmed it.

Senate's Property Tax Cut May Stall in House

Texas House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, talks over amendments to border security legislation on March 1, 2015.
Texas House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, talks over amendments to border security legislation on March 1, 2015.

The Texas Senate's notion of lowering property taxes for homeowners may lose steam when it reaches the House, where leaders appear more inclined to lower state sales taxes and avoid a collision with the spending cap.

 

 

$209.8 Billion Budget Plan Headed to House Floor

State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.
State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday backed a $209.8 billion two-year budget that would leave $8.4 billion on the table, along with billions more in the state’s savings account. The budget plan now goes to the full House.

Tax Cut Measures Headed to Full Senate

Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.
Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.

The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to send proposals cutting property taxes and business taxes to the full Senate, though some senators questioned whether the property tax cuts could be better spent in other ways.