What’s Happening in the Texas Legislature This Week

A look ahead at what’s going down at the state capitol.

By Ben PhilpottApril 27, 2015 7:44 am

It’s hard to know what bill will come up for a vote in the Texas Senate. They don’t have a set calendar, and essentially address bills ad hoc. Most will be looking for support to pass the three-fifths rule: where three-fifths of senators have to vote for bill to come up for a vote.

So a lot could get considered – or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.

On Monday, the House will tackle a few bills that try to true-up the state budget. Those bills would limit the use of money that the state stores in designated accounts; Over the years, budget writers have either left money in the accounts, to help show the state has enough money to pay for the rest of the budget, or they’ve appropriated that money to pay for sections of the budget not related to the reason the money was raised in the first place. That’s been a priority for House Speaker Joe Straus.

On Tuesday, the House will vote on its version of a more than $4 billion tax cut plan. While the Senate focuses its cuts on property taxes, the House wants to cut the state’s sales tax. The bill will likely make it out of the House, and the Senate has already passed its own tax cut plan.

So, what’s next? Well, one of the chambers will have to accept the other’s tax plan, and pass it. Or, we could end the session with only business tax cuts – which would most likely lead to irritated lawmakers, and maybe a special legislative session this summer.