On the same day that Texas House Republicans doubled down on border security efforts and announced plans to send an invoice to the federal government, Senate Democrats said they were committed to fighting bills to eliminate sanctuary cities.
In 2015, state lawmakers approved $800 million for border security efforts. But the election of Donald Trump as president has some Republican lawmakers thinking there will be a change in spending plans this session.
At our 4/29 symposium on the Texas economy, the Houston Chronicle's Chris Tomlinson talked about taxes with state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, 2014 Democratic candidate for comptroller Mike Collier, state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Dale Craymer of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association.
Aides to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, leader of the Texas Senate, say a bill cracking down on sanctuary cities would be fast-tracked in a special session. But so far Gov. Greg Abbott is resisting calls to convene one, meaning any reforms would be put on hold for more than a year.
Texas voters will probably give themselves a small dose of property tax relief when they vote on Proposition 1 in November. But if it passes, the state will be on the hook for $600 million a year to help school districts make up the lost revenue.
The long hours this week are a direct result of one of the first big end-of-session deadlines that hits today. The House has until the end of today to take initial action on any bill or resolution coming out of that chamber.
At our 5/13 conversation, state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, talked about his relationship with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — and the prospect of compromise with the Senate on taxes.