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January 17, 2019      8:40 AM

Breaking down the numbers: House adds $9 billion for public ed leaving the chambers $3 billion apart

Big questions remain including what the basic allotment will be

The House has proposed a staggering $9 billion in additional general revenue for public education this session, on top of the anticipated cost of additional school enrollment.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 16, 2019      2:27 PM

Rep. Chris Turner retains chairmanship of Texas House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Celia Israel is now Vice Chair

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January 16, 2019      12:05 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick indicates Senate committees will be in place by next week

In a brief exchange with Chair Nelson on the floor, Patrick agreed that Senate Finance should be ready to work on the budget by Tuesday; the budget was referred to Finance today

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January 16, 2019      8:17 AM

Speaker Bonnen starts the year with $4.6 million cash on hand, Lt. Gov. Patrick has $9.3 million

Bonnen raised $4.1 million, Patrick raised $1.7 million

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January 15, 2019      4:51 PM

Finance Chair Nelson says Senate budget prioritizes public ed, invests $6 billion

Per her office, among other things the Senate plan includes $2.4 billion to fund enrollment growth and an additional $3.7 billion for a teacher pay raise. This plan puts the House and Senate roughly $3 billion apart

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January 15, 2019      12:32 PM

In inaugural address, Abbott says unequivocally the state must invest more in public education

Patrick says the Senate’s budget is being filed today

In the cold and the mist of Tuesday morning, Gov.  Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took the oath of office on the north steps of the Texas Capitol and pledged bipartisan cooperation, significant reforms of school finance and property taxes, and well, the best legislative session ever.

“Today is the dawn of a transformative session that will usher in a new era,” Gov. Abbott said shortly after he was sworn in. Abbott said teachers, students, and taxpayers will benefit from the work of Lt. Gov. Patrick, newly-elected Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and the members of both the House and Senate.

“Our students deserve better. Our teachers deserve better. Our taxpayers deserve better,” Abbott said.

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By Scott Braddock

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January 14, 2019      6:22 PM

Texas House base budget is out, including significant increase for public education

Start reading with us: Here is the House budget via the Legislative Budget Board as posted tonight.

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January 14, 2019      5:57 PM

5 candidates throw their hats in the ring for the seat vacated by former Rep. Justin Rodriguez

They are: Art Reyna, who represented HD-125 from 1997 to 2003, also Steve Huerta, Ray Lopez, and Coda Rayo-Garza and Fred Rangel, the only Republican

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January 12, 2019      3:00 PM

HK: PAC that spends a fortune in GOP primaries granted access to the Texas Senate floor

This is not a recipe for solidifying the Republican team in the Senate; it is no coincidence that Empower Texan’s online publication is called Texas Scorecard

Yesterday’s news that Empower Texans had been granted press credentials by the Texas Senate – despite reported substantial objection by Senators – should come as no surprise. 

After all, when it was announced that the Senate would handle its own credentials, we here at Buzz Central privately speculated there could only be one reason that after 20 years or so the Senate decided to handle its own credentialing separate from the House because Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wanted to include some “media” the House would not and/or exclude some media management disliked.

As it turns out, the inclusion of Empower Texans is controversial not because of its political persuasion but because it is a PAC, with deep financial entanglements in elections.

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By Harvey Kronberg

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January 12, 2019      2:00 PM

People on the Move

New jobs, promotions, staffer moves, and maybe some hope for the Four Seasons bar

Week one is done.

19 more to go and the new Speaker assures us there won’t be any need for a special session on school finance. It will be reformed in the regular session, Speaker Dennis Bonnen said in his address at TPPF’s gathering at the Hilton where yours truly ran into Empower Texans Chairman Tim Dunn in the lobby. Had never met him before. Mr. Dunn chuckled when informed that his operations have been very good for Quorum Report.

One quick thing: After all your emails about the less than impressive updates at the Four Seasons bar, I was encouraged by many of you to check out the 7th floor bar at the new Fairmont. It is delightful and another refuge for your cigar chomping editor – only SFA and a few other places are welcoming of cigar smokers in this city anymore. Yes, I realize how cranky that sounds. I’m told some changes are coming at the Four Seasons after all the complaints. We shall see.

Now: The first People on the Move of the 86th legislative session. New jobs, promotions, staffer moves, and more on tap this week. If you’ve got career news to share, email it to ksbraddock@gmail.com and put POTM in the subject line.

Here’s this weeks’ edition:

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By Scott Braddock

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January 12, 2019      1:37 PM

Cornyn opposes use of Harvey funds on border wall

Sen. John Cornyn says he will oppose any effort to reprogram U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding from Hurricane Harvey relief efforts to a border wall along the United States-Mexico border.

As the current shutdown of the federal government now drags into a record 22 days, the idea that Pres. Donald Trump would declare a national emergency and redeploy funding to the construction of a southern border wall has been an ongoing source of speculation.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 12, 2019      12:13 PM

Julian Castro makes it formal -- announces a presidential bid

Widely anticipated, early in what is expected to be crowded field

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January 11, 2019      5:31 PM

LBB sticks to growth rate of 9.89%, notes likely use of Rainy Day Fund for Harvey

Chatter indicates the House may present an initial budget outline as soon as Monday

The Legislative Budget Board adopted a spending growth cap of 9.89 percent for the upcoming budget, a limit imposed so the budget does not growth faster than the Texas economy.

The budget limit – less important than the biennial revenue estimate – is the final pre-session piece to prepare for the unveiling of the Texas budget. The first budget document – belonging to the House – could be introduced as soon as Monday.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 11, 2019      10:50 AM

State Preservation Board votes unanimously to take down the Children of the Confederacy plaque in the Texas Capitol

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January 10, 2019      9:25 PM

Bigoted effort to oust Tarrant County GOP vice chair because he is Muslim fails

Vote was 149 to 49 to keep Vice Chair Shadid Shafi

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January 10, 2019      6:38 PM

Sources: Senate in caucus discussed rejecting Empower Texans media credentials after Patrick approved it - senators at odds with the Lt. Gov over the PAC's floor access during session

Meantime, the Texas House has rejected Empower's request because the group runs a PAC and allegedly lobbies the Legislature without registering

Developing tonight: Our understanding, from multiple Senate sources, is that the Senate met in caucus and there was serious opposition to issuing a media floor pass for Empower Texans, putting the senators at odds with Patrick. Patrick's office has not commented to QR about it. The Statesman reported this afternoon that Empower, whose PAC has been a big contributor to Patrick, was granted floor access for the session.

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January 10, 2019      1:25 PM

House committee preference cards are not due until Tuesday the 15th

For those thinking assignments are imminent, it'll be a little longer. Chatter on the House floor has been that assignments will be announced 1/31. We will all find out together

A copy of the speaker’s letter to members is available to subscribers.

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January 10, 2019      1:22 PM

Arrangements announced for Bud Shivers and Larry Temple, who both passed this week

Via the Headliners Foundation:

“The service for Mr. Bud Shivers is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15th at St. Mary's Cathedral, 203 East 10th Street, 78701 with a reception to follow at the Headliners Club. Please be advised that Tuesday is also Inauguration Day, so parking around the downtown area may be difficult. If helpful, there are parking garages within a few blocks of the church such as the garage next to the Austin Club at 9th and Brazos, the State Capitol Visitors Garage at 12th and San Jacinto, Omni Hotel at 8th and Brazos, or the garage at St. David's Episcopal Church at 8th and Trinity.”

Meantime the Temple family tells us that the Memorial Mass for Larry E Temple, TWC Executive Director, will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., at Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church, 26160 Ranch Rd. 12, Dripping Springs, TX 78620. Reception to follow.

A Rosary service will also be held at Saint Martin de Porres, Friday, January 18, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, Larry asked that donations be made to the National Federation for the Blind of Texas nfbtx.org  

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