Chad’s Morning Brief: Texas House Set to Debate Budget, Vouchers, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for March 31, 2015.
Texas House Debate
The Texas House is set to debate the $209.8 billion state budget on Tuesday. Debate could be intense at times with over 300 amendments up for a vote. Some of those amendments cover border security while others target abortion and school vouchers.
According to the Texas Tribune, one amendment targeting school vouchers could hit Lt. Governor Dan Patrick hard.
An amendment filed by state Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi, would ban the use of state dollars to fund private education for students in elementary through high schools, including through so-called tax credit scholarships.
If passed, the measure — one of more than 350 budget amendments covering topics from border security to abortion up for House consideration — would deliver a blow to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Patrick has thrown his weight behind getting some version of legislation through this session that would provide state financial support to parents who want to send their children to private schools. He has reserved a priority bill number — Senate Bill 4 — for the occasion.
But it's a message senators shouldn't be surprised to receive from their colleagues across the rotunda.
If Herrero's amendment fails, it would represent a dramatic change in sentiment for the chamber, which overwhelmingly passed a similar budget amendment during the 2013 legislative session. Patrick, a Houston Republican who served as state senator before taking office as lieutenant governor in January, led that chamber's education panel at the time.
There is no question that the Texas Senate wants to pass vouchers. The House on the other hand is no slam dunk. Republicans have the votes to pass vouchers but do they have the leadership to do it?
This will be just one of the areas to watch on Tuesday as a divide begins to really deepen between House Republicans and Senate Republicans.
Texas Monthly put together another good piece to look at as well ahead of Tuesday's budget fight.
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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard on our KFYO YouTube page after the show and online at kfyo.com.