It is a short week here in Austin as both chambers prepare to take a short break for the holiday weekend. When members return next week, they will rocket towards the May 30th finish line.
The Senate Finance Committee met yesterday to consider various bills dealing with fiscal matters as well as potential non-tax revenue sources. Under Senate Bill 1811, various accounting maneuvers such as delaying payments and accelerating tax collections would produce close to $4.8 billion in revenue. A vote on this bill and other bills related to fiscal matters is expected later today. Tomorrow, the Committee will take up House Bill 1, the appropriations bill for 2012-2013 and House Bill 4, the supplemental appropriations bill that covers the deficit in the current budget for 2010-2011. The debate rages on regarding the use of additional funds from the Rainy Day Fund.
House Bill 150, the redistricting bill for the Texas House, will be debated on the House floor next Tuesday. To view proposed maps, follow this link to the Texas Legislative Council’s redistricting website: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/redist/redist.htm.
Do you feel the need for speed? House Bill 1353 by Rep. Gary Elkins (R-Houston) would abolish the five miles per hour differential between day and night driving on many Texas highways. That would raise the speed limit to 75 or 80 miles per hour on many rural highways in Texas. The bill was approved by the House and now moves to the Senate.