Paper is in short supply in Austin as we head towards tomorrow’s bill filing deadline. According to statistics maintained by the Texas Legislative Council, 4303 House and Senate bills have been filed along with 155 joint resolutions. Committees in both the House and Senate have begun their regular meeting schedules. The Texas Legislature does not honor “Spring Break” so expect to see a lot of action in the next few weeks in committees and on the House and Senate floors.
The Senate appears to have held up the first gubernatorial appointment this session. Reports are that John Bradley, the chairman of the state Forensic Science Commission, does not have the votes to be confirmed by the Texas Senate. The authority to make governmental appointments is one of the powers given to the Governor of Texas by the state’s constitution. The appointments are then confirmed by the Senate during a legislative session.
This afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee is debating a bill that proposes to spend $4.3 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to close the state’s deficit for the remaining five months of the fiscal year. Governor Perry is against spending rainy day funds. The outcome of this legislation is unclear as of today.