This Week in Texas: April 7, 2021

Posted April 7, 2021 in The Mignon Memo

Senate Unanimously Votes on Budget

Yesterday, the Texas Senate unanimously voted on a two-year, $250 billion state budget, though there are still questions about how tens of billions of dollars in expected federal aid will be used — Senators acknowledged during Tuesday’s debate that those funds may be a challenge to appropriate, depending on when they come in and what strings could be attached to them.

The budget is roughly $5 billion over the amount Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar projected lawmakers would have to work with. But it does not factor in over $35 billion in federal funding in coronavirus aid, much of which will go to the state government.

Insulin Price Cap Legislation Gains Support

Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock) and state Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) held a news conference on HB 40 yesterday, which would cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $50 per month. The legislation has roughly 100 House members signed on in support.

The Senate last month passed the upper chamber’s version of the legislation, which was carried by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham).

Early Childhood Caucus Formed

A bipartisan group of House members has founded the Early Childhood Caucus. State Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) will serve as chair; state Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson) will serve as vice-chair; state Rep. James Talarico, (D-Round Rock) will serve as treasurer; and state Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Carrollton) will serve as secretary.

The Caucus’s bipartisan leadership has a shared goal of ensuring state policies across child care, health, education, and others help more kids get off to a strong start.

Only in Austin…

Speaker Dade Phelan held a reception with the Latina women of the Texas House.

“It was a pleasure to be with the group of Latinas in the House of Representatives this afternoon. I appreciate your dedication to our state,” Phelan said.