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Rural Critics Organize to Stop Bullet Train

Japan Central's N700 high speed train, the same train that a private firm wants to bring to Texas.
Japan Central's N700 high speed train, the same train that a private firm wants to bring to Texas.

Dallas and Houston leaders may want a super-fast train connecting their cities, but folks in between aren't as sold on the idea. Some have formed Texans Against High-Speed Rail, and they're hiring lobbyists and courting allies in a bid to kill the plan.

 

Dennis Bonnen, From Loudmouth to Mouth of the House

Ways and Means chair State Rep.Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, while debating State Rep. Sylvester Turner on HB11 border security bill March 18, 2015.
Ways and Means chair State Rep.Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, while debating State Rep. Sylvester Turner on HB11 border security bill March 18, 2015.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen has become a go-to mouthpiece for House leadership, and the votes for his legislation are indicative of how closely in step with him his colleagues are. If he were out of line, someone would yank his leash. Nobody has.

Bettencourt Hopes to Slow Property Tax Growth

Texas State Sen.-elect Paul Bettencourt during the What the Tea Party Wants panel at The Texas Tribune's On the Road: A Symposium Previewing the 84th Legislature on Dec. 5, 2014.
Texas State Sen.-elect Paul Bettencourt during the What the Tea Party Wants panel at The Texas Tribune's On the Road: A Symposium Previewing the 84th Legislature on Dec. 5, 2014.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, managed to add an amendment to a bill Thursday that would make it more difficult for some local entities to raise property taxes.

House Passes $4.9 Billion Tax Cut

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.

The Texas House tentatively approved a $4.9 billion tax relief plan Tuesday that includes a cut to the state’s sales tax, marking a clear line in the sand against the Senate, which favors property tax cuts.