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Week of May 20 - May 26, 2019

Much remains on table as Legislature begins final week
AUSTIN — As the Texas Legislature entered the final week of its 140-day 86th regular session, Texans continued to wait for lawmakers to wrap up priority issues: the 2020-2021 state budget, property tax reform and school finance reform.

Week of May 6-12, 2019

Property tax reform bill goes to conference committee
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on May 1 passed Senate Bill 2, legislation proposing to bring property tax relief to homeowners, but the lower house slowed the bill’s momentum by tacking on 25 floor amendments.
If finally passed in the coming days, the legislation would lower the rollback rate for most local taxing authorities from 8 percent to 3.5 percent and 2 percent for school districts. The bill also allows local option elections on proposals to exceed rollback rates.

Week of April 29 - May 5, 2019

Top issues remain in play as Legislature enters final month
AUSTIN — Only a month is left for lawmakers to get the state’s business done in the 86th regular session of the Texas Legislature.
Still unfinished are the issues at the top of a list shared by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen: the passage of a state budget for fiscal years 2020-2021, property tax reform and school finance reform. 

EARLY DELIVERY: Week of April 22-28, 2019

Conference committee to work out differences in state budget
AUSTIN — After Easter weekend, conferees for the Texas House and Senate must work out differences in the two chambers’ versions of a fiscal 2020-2021 state budget to send to Gov. Greg Abbott.
Concurrence is required on how to spend an estimated $250 billion in revenue available to fund the state’s fiscal years 2020-2021. Once an agreement has been reached, the budget bill will be subject to an up or down vote in each chamber before it is forwarded to the governor’s office for final approval.

Week of April 15-21, 2019

Top officeholders join together in push for funding solution
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on April 10 released a joint statement promoting a twofold method for the 86th Texas Legislature to curb property tax increases across the state.

Not just native Texans, hardened journalists, too

Dateline: Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Canadian, Texas.
It was just another newspaper deadline day in the Texas Panhandle. Started about 4 a.m. Another 14 or 15 hours, and it would be over. Enough joe from the coffee shop next door, and we’d be okay.
A couple of days earlier, Amarillo’s National Weather Service had begun issuing a series of increasingly dire warnings that the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles would experience extremely high winds at midweek.  That was nothing new. Been there, done that. 

Week of April 8-14, 2019

House passes key legislation to reform school finance, property taxes 
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on April 3 approved much-anticipated legislation written to revise the state's public school finance system. The vote was 148-1, and the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.