The Texas Scorecard team will be updating this section with real-time developments on the budget debate in the Texas House.  (For a list of the amendments eligible for consideration on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, please click here.)












(Most recent listed first.)

10:50pm: An amendment by Fallon was laid out by Rep. Fallon to move fraud investigation funding from the Travis Co. State Fraud Unit to the office of the Attorney General for those cases. Fallon correctly noted that a rogue judge is not as accountable outside their district as someone in a statewide office. Further debate focused on the close relationship that insurance providers have with Travis County prosecutors with regard to gifts of office space. Rep. Longoria motioned to table the amendment, which prevailed by a vote of 83-59.

10:00pm: Rep. Stickland lays out his amendment to defund the Feral Hog Abatement program, citing limited government principles and the proper scope of government. In response, Rep. Springer launched an attack on Stickland, seeking to amend that amendment with a provision to remove transportation funds for the routine maintenance of roads in Bedford, TX. The petty and vindictive move aimed at Stickland’s district was put before the body and passed by a vote of 99-26. Rep. Stickland responded by withdrawing his tainted amendment, but not before addressing the perverse precedent that this action created in diminishing debate and the institution as a whole.

9:04pm: Proposed amendment by Rep. Tinderholt to move one-third of the funding for tuition equalization grants for the purchase of new state trooper vehicles is considered. After having witnessed the aging fleet firsthand, Tinderholt maintained that the appropriation was necessary and that the tuition grant program would still have $110 million. Rep Canales claimed that the vehicle funds were not needed and that the amendment was motivated by a “hate of education.” Rep. Tinderholt informed Canales and the body that as a seven-year college educator with a masters degree in education, this was patently false, instead indicating he was prepared to prioritize core government functions. A motion to table was made and the amendment failed on a 130-12 vote.

8:50pm: Rep. Dutton introduced an amendment that would have stripped all border security funding and direct those funds to government-run pre-kindergarten. A motion to table was made by Rep. Ashby, prevailing on a vote of 93-53.

8:25pm: An amendment to draw down federal dollars for Medicaid expansion put forth by Rep. Turner. A motion to table was offered by Rep. S. Davis, which prevailed by a vote of 90-55.

6:27pm: Rep. S.Davis makes a motion to table the amendment by Rep. Leach after a motion to reconsider. After debate, Leach makes a motion to move his amendment to Article XI.

4:58pm: Motion to table succeeds 94-49, defeating an amendment by Rep. Turner seeking to take funds from the Alternatives to Abortion program and direct them to family planning services.

4:24pm: Floor debate on Rep. Leach’s amendment to move funding for the Texas Lottery Commissions marketing operations to the Healthy Texas Women program. Democrats and moderate republicans flock to the microphone to defend those lottery marketing funds. Motion to table and the amendment were withdrawn.

3:52pm: Amendment by Stickland to find $16 million in savings from appropriations for tobacco use, remarking that the purpose of government is to secure the liberty of the people. After promoting the virtues of personal responsibility, Rep. Davis made a motion to table, succeeding by a vote of 115-29.

2:58pm: Rep. Villalba asks the Speaker how much each record vote costs.

2:27pm: After previously voting to defund the Texas Enterprise Fund, the House now adopts Rep. Matt Shaheen’s amendment that defunds the Texas Moving Image Incentive Program by a vote of 100-40.

2:24pm: Leach’s amendment to the amendment is adopted.

2:21pm: Rep Leach lays out amendment to the amendment (30) that would take the money used for the Texas Film Incentive Program, a corporate welfare program,  and send it instead to the Healthy Texas Women’s Program.

1:34pm: Rep. Sanford raises a motion to reconsider the vote on Amendment 22, defunding the Texas Enterprise Fund and redirecting that money. The motion failed by a vote of 18-127. Rep. Stickland raised a point of personal privilege to deliver a speech to the chamber about misapplication of the rules and the protection the rules afford minority positions. He pointed to the actions of leadership as the vehicle by which debate is shut down.

1:03pm: Rep. Stickland raises several parliamentary inquiries pertaining to the status of all pending amendments related to the Texas Enterprise Fund after a previous amendment removed all funding. Stickland also asked for verification that he had previously intimated he intended to call a record vote for all amendments but the chair and parliamentarian claimed that he did not.

12:51pm: Rep. Simmons raises a parliamentary inquiry asking if a rider overrules general law, so that if education choice for special needs children passes, those funds can still be appropriated.

12:39pm: A motion to table Rep. Turner’s amendment prevails 90-55.

12:22pm: Rep. Chris Turner with an amendment ensuring no funds directed towards the AG’s office be used to appeal the recent court ruling on Texas’ redistricting.

11:59am: Rep. Briscoe Cain proposes an amendment to the Herrero amendment creating an exception for children in a household at or below 175 percent of the poverty level. Amendment to the amendment is tabled on a vote of 117-29. The Herrero amendment passes by a vote of 103-44.

11:57am: Villalba’s point of order overruled.

11:53am: Rep. Jason Villalba raises a Point of Order to kill an amendment by Rep. Abel Herrero that would essentially ban school choice. An amendment to the amendment by Rep. Gary VanDeaver has already been passed that would make the ban even more strict.

11:07am: First amendment to be offered is by Rep. Tony Tinderholt, defunding the Commission on the Arts. The Democrats are furious. Tinderholt points out that most programs impacted are privately funded on a higher level and the programs grants account for less than 20% of program funding. Amendment failed on a successful motion to table by a 116-29 vote.

10:43am: House Appropriations chairman has been “laying out” the budget and describing it in broad terms. At one point, State Rep. Matt Rinaldi was asking a series of questions about a budget gimmick delaying education-related payments, to which Zerwas notes that the House has on a number of occasions “kicked the can down the road.”

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