The Brief: Texas Senate advances school choice bill
The Texas Senate voted 18-13 on Thursday to pass the major school choice bill this legislative session. Here's what you need to know.
Happy Friday! Thanks for reading The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that prepares you for the day ahead. If you have friends who might want to join our list, please forward this email. They can click here to sign up. – BB
Analysis: In Texas, principles matter, but exceptions may apply
Things almost never come out of the Texas Legislature — if they come out at all — in the same shape they went in. Principles give way to exceptions and compromise and the final product can differ greatly from the original idea.
Bestiality isn't illegal in Texas. A Houston lawmaker wants to change that.
Texas is one of eight states that does not have a ban on the books against bestiality.
Years after Perry veto, Travis County seeks revival of statewide prosecuting unit
Texas lawmakers might revive a special prosecuting unit in Travis County — this one only investigating fraud, not corrupt state officials.
Bills would shine light on potential conflicts of interest
A House committee on Thursday discussed ethics reforms including measures that would give the public better and more easily accessible information about their elected representatives' potential conflicts of interest.
Texas Senate passes private school choice bill
The Senate voted 18-13 Thursday to pass a major private school choice bill, creating two public programs that would subsidize private school tuition.
Texas Republicans defend "bathroom bill" as North Carolina tweaks its law
As North Carolina lawmakers voted Thursday to revise that state's "bathroom bill," Texas Republicans pushing a similar measure said they are not backing away from their proposal.
Texas senator pushes to abolish liquor store ownership limits once more
A state senator is trying again to reform liquor laws that he argues are anti-competitive and protectionist.
Judge orders Ken Paxton trial moved out of Collin County and delayed
The judge in the securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has ruled that the trial should be moved out of Collin County and delayed.
What you need to know
The Texas Senate voted 18-13 on Thursday to pass the major school choice bill this legislative session. Here's what you need to know:
- SB 3 creates two public programs subsidizing private school tuition and homeschooling expenses in the state. The bill, authored by state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, establishes an education savings account, which would allow parents access to public funds to pay for private school tuition, and a tax credit scholarship program, which would allow businesses to credit insurance premiums in exchange for donations approved to scholarship organizations.
How much would SB 3 cost the state? The Legislative Budget Board estimated previous versions of SB 3 would cost Texas between $90 and $330 million. The Center for Public Policy Priorities, released its own fiscal analysis, saying the bill would cost the state's public school system more than $500 million per year.
The bill is on its way to the House, where House Public Education Committee chairman Dan Huberty, R-Houston, has previously said the measure will die.
To get more education news in your inbox, subscribe to Trib+Edu: Your guide to state and regional education policy news and events.
What we're reading
(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $)
I'll back Texas independence, EU's Juncker warns Trump, CNN
Judge sides with Port Aransas residents, halts barge facility in 'environmentally sensitive' area, Texas Observer
State panel approves $115 million for Waco I-35 project, set to begin in 2019, Waco Tribune-Herald
UNT professor files discrimination lawsuit, Denton Record-Chronicle
Houston immigrant doctors given 24 hours to leave the U.S., then a reprieve, The Houston Chronicle ($)
Ben Carson makes housing pitch in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News ($)
For your calendar
Next Tuesday, April 4, The Texas Tribune will talk about legislative issues with experienced community organizers at the W Austin Records Room. The event is part of the Tribune's On the Record series, geared towards helping Texans be better, smarter citizens.
Quote to note
"After all, PVAMU, a historical black university (HBU), would have been the ideal environment in which to prove the moral bankruptcy of apartheid: a place with thousands of black students, many of them descendants of slaves, pursuing the American Dream. That experience taught me the importance of ideas and trusting your gut."
— State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, about historically black universities in Texas via TribTalk
The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. If you have feedback or questions, please email email@example.com. We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.
Disclosure: The Center for Public Policy Priorities has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
Information about the authors
Quality journalism doesn't come free
Perhaps it goes without saying — but producing quality journalism isn't cheap. At a time when newsroom resources and revenue across the country are declining, The Texas Tribune remains committed to sustaining our mission: creating a more engaged and informed Texas with every story we cover, every event we convene and every newsletter we send. As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on members to help keep our stories free and our events open to the public. Do you value our journalism? Show us with your support.Yes, I'll donate today