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Otto Touts Plan to Simplify School Finance System

Rep. John Otto R-Dayton, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, during Tribune Conversation event on February 12th, 2015
Rep. John Otto R-Dayton, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, during Tribune Conversation event on February 12th, 2015

The House’s chief budget writer on Thursday praised a proposal to overhaul the school finance system by grouping the state’s 1,026 regular school districts into a few "school finance districts" — a tax move aimed at equalizing per-student funding statewide. 

 

 

GOP Taxonomy: The Flat Taxers and the Fair Taxers

Rick Perry grins as he holds up a paper that symbolizes his flat tax plan during a stop in Osceola, Iowa on December 27, 2011.
Rick Perry grins as he holds up a paper that symbolizes his flat tax plan during a stop in Osceola, Iowa on December 27, 2011.

Republican presidential flirts Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are cozying up to their positions on fixing, or dumping, the federal income tax. Get ready for much discussion of what's flat, what's fair and whether the twain shall meet.

Abbott, Hegar Propose Overhauling Events Fund Subsidies

Then-Gov. Rick Perry hoists the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix trophy on November 17, 2013, with Attorney General Greg Abbott watching on.
Then-Gov. Rick Perry hoists the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix trophy on November 17, 2013, with Attorney General Greg Abbott watching on.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Comptroller Glenn Hegar are calling for the Legislature to overhaul controversial taxpayer-funded programs used to lure sporting events to Texas and move them from the comptroller to the governor’s office.

Public Integrity Unit Chief Testifies Before Senators

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

The head of the state's public integrity unit told Senate lawmakers on Monday that Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of its funding in 2013 forced the division — which investigates public corruption — to lay off staff and give up cases.

TxDOT: Toll Billing Problems Being Addressed

Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway's HOV and Toll lanes exit into Metro's Eastowood Transit Center in Houston Friday, October 19, 2012.
Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway's HOV and Toll lanes exit into Metro's Eastowood Transit Center in Houston Friday, October 19, 2012.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation and Xerox, the company handling the state's tolling operations, said Thursday that fixes to customer service and billing issues were in the works.

Nelson Emphasizes Property Tax Relief in Senate Budget

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Nearly two weeks after the House's base budget was released, Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson presented the Senate's plan, which she said sets aside $3 billion for "meaningful" property tax relief for Texas homeowners.