This Week in Texas: April 21, 2021

Posted April 21, 2021 in The Mignon Memo

Budget Debate: Take Two

The House will have its turn to debate the state’s budget bill (Senate Bill 1) this Thursday. Legislators will attempt to move funding around in the budget for their legislative priorities through the amendment process.

This session, House members pre-filed 240 amendments to SB 1, which pales in comparison to previous sessions. Pre-filed amendments:
2021: 240
2019: 304
2017: 401
2015: 354
2013: 267

Support Grows for TX Healthcare Expansion

On Monday, a coalition of nearly 200 groups signed this letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan demanding action on protecting some of the estimated 5 million uninsured Texans. A wide spectrum of physicians, health care providers, local officials, business leaders, and advocates joined and signed this letter.

Open Carry Legislation Stalls in Senate

Lawmakers in the House last Friday approved House Bill 1927, which would eliminate the requirement for Texans to obtain a license to carry handguns — either openly or concealed — so long as they’re not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun.  As of Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says that the Senate does not currently have the votes to pass the permitless carry legislation. Patrick said he will try and see if there is a “path” to change that.

Only in Austin…

Sen. Zaffirini (pictured far right)

On Tuesday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick presented Senator Zaffirini with a commemorative gavel in honor of completing a remarkable achievement of casting her 65,000th vote in the Senate. Sen. Zaffirini has not missed a single vote since 1987!