Will Texas Do Better?
Lege preview, Part 2 – the wonders and the horrors
Next month, beginning Jan. 8, the 83rd legislative circus comes to our town. It's still early – the first couple of months are largely devoted to committee meetings and other backstage business – but this week and last, we've offered a glimpse of what might be coming, based largely on the early prefiled bills of various legislators. Longtime Lege observers have noted that this December, the prefiling seems a little slower than usual – whether that's due to so many freshman lawmakers or some larger cultural malaise, nobody's quite sure.
In any case, our reporters have reviewed several categories of major legislation – budget, health care, criminal justice, environment, labor, education, and so on – to highlight a few good and bad bills (we wish we could say there were more of the former) and to spot any early trends. As is customary, the big battles are likely to be fought over the budget, and even though this session's revenues are anticipated to be much better than the last, Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican leadership have already declared their determination to govern by austerity – and if possible, to lock that approach directly into the Texas Constitution – thereby making it much more difficult for future Legislatures (no matter what the economic and social conditions at the time) to act responsibly and flexibly in addressing the state's needs. We hope that obstinate shortsightedness fails at birth, but few political bets have been won by underestimating the ability of the Texas Legislature to act from its worst instincts and willfully neglect the state's future.
At any rate, here's a taste of what's coming and some of what we'll be covering, for better and worse, at the Capitol over the next several months. There's plenty more where these came from; you can set up your own monitoring station at Texas Legislature Online (www.capitol.state.tx.us). I have a bit more to say about the Texas legislative prospects in this week's "Point Austin: Tools for Lege Watching."
Richard Whittaker, Fri., April 26, 2013
Jordan Smith, Amy Smith, Fri., April 19, 2013
Michael King, Fri., April 5, 2013
Richard Whittaker, Fri., March 29, 2013
Fri., Feb. 22, 2013
at Austin Music Hall
Vinyl Hunt: A Record Nerd's Swap Meet at The North Door
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty at Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Film Review Misses Mark Please make a note not to print any more movie reviews of big action movies by Kimberley Jones. She gets ...
What's the Big Deal? I'm baffled by this obsession with Mueller. I drove through it out of curiosity and it's a suburban nightmare that ...
No Mystery in School Bond Failures How out of touch has the Chronicle become with the voting populace of this city? From the article “Bonds: Death ...
Program Is Vital Resource I am responding to your article on ACCESS News, the program by and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The ...
Finding Rail Route Complicated Michael King, in “The Reading Railroad”, while making valuable points, seems to state that finding an initial route for urban ...
- Follow us@AustinChronicle