The Big Conversation
One lawmaker's protest against Planned Parenthood supporters at the Capitol on Wednesday had turned into something else later in the day: a threat that the gloves were about to come off in his fight against the House leadership.
As reported by the Tribune's Patrick Svitek and Edgar Walters, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, expressed his displeasure at the day of advocacy for Planned Parenthood at the Capitol by posting a sign in front of his office identifying the lawmaker as a "FORMER FETUS."
Similar in style to his official hallway identifier plaque, the sign spurred House Administration Chairman Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, to remove the sign.
The action by one of Straus' lieutenants injected some latent speaker politics into the mix.
The Austin American-Statesman's Tim Eaton talked to Stickland, who turned the focus to legislation advocated by him and his allies in the GOP's conservative wing. He threatened dire results if the Tea Party agenda doesn't get serious consideration by the leadership.
“I think the ‘Kumbaya’ is about to be over,” Stickland told Eaton. “It’s time to start telling the voters where we stand. I think people are beginning to get anxious.”
The Day Ahead
• The House convenes at 10 a.m.
• House Appropriations meets at 8 a.m. to take up recommendations on Articles IX and X as well as riders and pending items (E1.030).
• House Transportation meets at 8 a.m. Among the bills to be considered is HB 594 by Celia Israel, D-Austin, which would provide incentives for trucks to use the Texas 130 bypass to the east of Austin (E2.012).
• Senate Education meets at 9 a.m. On the agenda is SB 6 by Chairman Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, dealing with changes to school accountability measures. Also up is SB 13 by Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, lifting limits on dual credit courses and SB 894 by Taylor dealing with the state virtual school network (E1.028).
• The Senate Select Committee on Government Facilities meets at 10 a.m. to receive updates on deferred maintenance needs from various state agencies (E1.016).
• Business leaders, health care providers, faith leaders, uninsured Texans, and others rally on the Capitol north steps at 10:45 a.m. advocating expansion health coverage in the state.
• Land Commissioner George P. Bush and his brother Jeb Bush Jr. headline a 5:30 p.m. fundraiser in Austin for the Right to Rise super PAC, which is supporting their father, Jeb Bush, who is contemplating a run for the White House in 2016.
• Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith has a breakfast conversation with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. The 8 a.m. event at the Austin Club will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.
For Two Border Towns, Water Plan Falls Amid Ineptitude, by Alexa Ura and Neena Satija
Abbott's Emergency Items: Where Are They Now?, by Patrick Svitek
Far-Reaching Border Security Bill Clears First Hurdle, by Julián Aguilar
Rand Paul's Austin Office Set to Open Monday, by Patrick Svitek
Senators Worry State Contracting is Too Decentralized, by Aman Batheja
Perry is Gone, but Travel Costs Still Being Tallied, by Jay Root and Ryan Murphy
Senate Confirms Abbott's First UT Regent Appointees, by Bobby Blanchard
San Antonio Gang Member Executed, by Terri Langford
Legislature poised to tackle $1 billion in delayed maintenance, Austin American-Statesman
House budget panel tentatively OKs bonds for campus academic buildings, The Dallas Morning News
Texas lawmakers consider whether to give state power to block some city ordinances, The Dallas Morning News
Biofuels and ethanol lobbies part ways, Houston Chronicle
Phil Collins’ star rises over the Alamo, San Antonio Express-News
Three States Would Be Hardest Hit If Supreme Court Upends Health-Law Subsidies, Wall Street Journal
Quote to Note
“We are about to start cutting each other to shreds.”
— State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, anticipating all out war with the House leadership if legislation drafted by the party's conservative wing is bottled up in committee
Today in TribTalk
The politics of pre-K in Texas, by Jim Henson and Joshua Blank
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation With UT-Austin Dell Medical School Dean Clay Johnston on March 26 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation With Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Joe Pickett on April 7 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation With Sen. Kel Seliger and Rep. John Zerwas on April 16 at The Austin Club