House fails to pass budget for the first time in decades

09 April, 2017, 04:19 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • House fails to pass budget for the first time in decades

Casting "nay" votes were House GOP Caucus Chairman Tan Parker of Flower Mound, key budget writer Larry Gonzales of Round Rock, Economic and Small Business Development Committee Chairwoman Angie Chen Button of Garland and Special Purpose Districts Committee Chairman Jim Murphy of Houston.

The budget will eventually come back to the House after the Senate version of a revenue and spending bill clears a Senate-House committee of conference in June.

But several amendments would force House Republicans to take a vote on "school choice" issues. I don't believe that we can stand down while the federal government steps up.

On the winning side of the House budget debate were child welfare advocates, who saw funding for foster care and Child Protective Services tentatively boosted; social conservatives, who scored $20 million for the Alternatives to Abortion program; and the lieutenants of House Speaker Joe Straus' leadership team who, in a display of unity, easily brushed aside most challenges from far-right Republicans. They also tried to pass an amendment that would kick out of Medicaid those low-income adults who don't have children, as well as two amendments that sought to require low-income Coloradans on Medicaid to cover co-payments for medical services in order to fund $1.4 million in transportation projects.

Lawmakers got the extra funding by removing $43 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, which is overseen by the governor and lures job-creating firms to Texas. It would add $100 million for jail-diversion programs and would maintain the border surge that lawmakers and Abbott initiated in 2015.

Cain, who previous year ousted a Straus ally in the GOP primary by 23 votes, offered a provision drastically changing Herrero's amendment.

"Why should Texans have to foot the bill for border security when President Trump has already indicated that he's going to send more boots on the ground", Rep. Blanco said. One of those, filed by Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin), would prohibit using state money to build a border wall in Big Bend State Park.

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When asked about that specific proposal, Zerwas said, "We'll treat it just like any other amendment, it will be brought up, it will be debated and it will be voted on". He wants to move money from one part of the department into parolee support.

"We pray that the Texas Legislature will cease their dabbling into this violation of God's gift of religious liberty for all people, and will begin focusing on the real needs of our 5.3 million Texas public schoolchildren".

House Democrats meet before debate on the budget long bill, April 6, 2017.

"You can cut and cut but at some point you start amputating", Zerwas said.

Patrick has said the state must "live within its means" and avoid tapping the rainy day fund, which comes primarily from oil and gas production taxes and is the largest reserve of its kind in the country.

The House's proposal would take $2.5 billion out of the state's rainy day fund, dropping the projected balance down to $10.4 billion in 2019.

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