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Film Incentives Pass House
Lawmakers unanimously approve Travis Co. bill: Author Dukes expects quick passage
DAILY Screens  March 25, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...SB 605, the Senate version of the bill, was voted out of the Senate Economic Development Committee a few days ago, and was sent to the Local, Consent, and Resolutions Calendar. Once the House bill gets over there, it should become law in short order..."

Lege Lines: House Committees, Revenue Estimates ... & Snacks
The Lege appoints House Committee members, offers revenue estimates, and ensures lawmakers are well fed
News Story  February 12, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, has filed House Bill 972, which would hack away at lobbyists' ability to hide their, ahem, altruistic generosity to starving lawmakers. Geren's measure would lower the point at which lobbyists must submit a detailed expense report to the Texas Ethics Commission, cutting that trigger point from 60% of lawmakers' per diem (currently $150 per day, rising to $190 this session) to a flat $50..."

Bill of the Week
Legal landscape shifts in passage of 'emergency' item
News Column  May 13, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...The business interests trying to dodge their days in court pine for a law that would scare people away from suing them just because of the cost. HB 274 gives them exactly that, by making the loser in a lawsuit cover all costs, and apparently this is an emergency issue – calling it that allows the Legislature to accelerate it through the early days of the session by skirting rules about voting on bills in the first 60 days..."

Bill of the Week: A Straight Ticket to Court?
Rep. Ron Simmons wants to end straight-ticket voting
News Story  May 18, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...While it may seem relatively innocuous, the conservative-backed bill would disproportionately impact minorities, who more frequently opt for straight-ticket voting, as well as the disabled and elderly who spend more time in voting lines. Straight tickets made up more than 60% of total votes cast in the state's 10 largest counties last year..."

Oh No, It's Mr. Bill!
Do Bill Bunch's Tactics Hurt the Springs He Loves?
News Story  October 18, 1996, by Alex de Marban
"...At any time of the week he is in his office on the second floor of a revamped house downtown that serves as S.O.S.'s headquarters, researching legal issues or writing letters of persuasion to public officials. On his desk in his office are toiletries -- he typically works 60 hours a week, and during the height of the S.O.S..."

Needle-Exchange Bill Barely Hanging On
State Rep. Dianne White Delisi all but kills legislation that would let local health departments establish one-for-one anonymous needle-exchange programs
News Story  May 25, 2007, by Jordan Smith
"...Delisi's childlike behavior killed a comprehensive version of the progressive and fiscally responsible preventative health policy. During House floor debate on May 21, Delisi reiterated her myopic view that the public health benefits of needle exchange are considerably less important than the state's need to "do everything we can to lessen the opportunity for intravenous drug use." Delisi's confounding logic notwithstanding, McClendon resurrected a portion of the policy, successfully amending on a 71-60 vote the state's Medicaid bill (Committee Substitute Senate Bill 10) to allow for a needle pilot program in Bexar Co...."

Tort Deform at the House
Tort reform climbs the mountain -- and then gets pushed back down.
News Story  March 28, 2003, by Michael King
"...The GOP leadership -- having spent the previous 17 hours defeating about 60 of the 304 proposed amendments to HB 4, and anticipating several more days of the same -- was in no mood to start all over again. The House recessed while Speaker Tom Craddick and his parliamentarian looked for a loophole not only in the House rules but in the state constitution, which requires that "the sessions of each House shall be open." After several hours, Craddick finally emerged to announce his conclusion that "it was proper for the House to decide this issue" -- essentially asking members to stick out their own necks and vote to endorse the committee's violation of House rules...."

Probe-Before-Abortion Bill Moves Forward
Republicans and their probes: Coming to a vagina near you
News Story  March 11, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...Since the program's inception, it hasn't exactly been a fiscal success: When the TPCN failed to meet program goals it set for itself, it simply changed those goals; in 2007, 40% of its budget went to administrative costs – including nice yearly raises for Executive Director Vincent Friedewald (see "Texas Pregnancy Care Network Proves Unimpressive," April 18, 2008). Despite its underperformance, the Alternatives to Abortion program in 2009 was given a 60% budget increase..."

U.S. House of Representatives
Redistricting happens when? Not soon enough!
News Story  November 10, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, beat Republican Jeff Martin by more than 60 percentage points, and Greenville Republican Kay Granger beat Dem Bill Bradshaw by almost 33 points...."

Titan of the Telecaster Bill Kirchen
The guitarist settles in Austin but flies Transatlanticana
Music Story  August 25, 2016, by Jim Caligiuri
"...It's like a Coke bottle. It's a design that's lasted 60 years now."..."

UPDATE: The People's Filibuster Continues
Opponents of war on women use lege rules to derail abortion ban
DAILY News  June 20, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...If you're near a computer (which, if you're reading this, you patently are) then the best thing you could be doing with your bandwidth is watch the House Committee on State Affairs. It's democracy in action as 700 Texans have signed up for the citizen's filibuster: A determined effort to slow the abortion restrictions in House Bill 60...."

'Let Her Speak!'
Abortion hearing erupts into an emotional match
DAILY News  June 21, 2013, by Dan Solomon
"...There are maybe 100 people in the chamber, with several hundred others in two designated rooms at the other end of the building, watching the public testimony for House Bill 60 on two projection monitors, waiting for their names to be called...."

Never Enough Time for Ethics
House GOP leadership seems determined to pretend bipartisan reform bill quietly disappearsName(s) of subject
News Column  April 22, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...Proponents of HB 1348 charge that Denny is deliberately dragging her feet on legislation that would tighten the state's ban on corporate money in political campaigns and prohibit anonymously financed attack ads, or so-called "issue ads," 60 days before an election. The bill is unusual in that it carries supporting signatures of 93 House members – 30 Republicans and 63 Democrats – including lead sponsors Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, and Todd Smith, R-Euless..."

Lege Lines: School Finance Math; Tax Plans Diverge; Veteran Benefits Restricted; and More
Is school finance dead this session?; House and Senate tax plans split; Lege restricts veterans' benefits; and more
News Story  May 14, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...The bill adds on a pile of restrictions, including that before a veteran takes their first class, they must have been a Texas resident for the preceeding eight years, and the class must take place within 15 years of the veteran's honorable discharge. If the benefits are taken by an heir, the student is limited to 60 credit hours, and could only get those benefits if their parent had served in the military for six years..."

Getting Film Incentives to Pay Off
Film Commission director Bob Hudgins talks about proposed reforms to the incentive program
DAILY News  February 10, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...– Includes educational and instructional videos in the program. Not glamorous, but a big market that could use smaller facilities and farm out post-production work to local firms. – Changes eligibility to cover productions that are 60% filmed in Texas (down from 80%) and gives much more control of grant structure to the commission. – Gets rid of the pre-determined caps on pay-outs: As Hudgins explained, that was a big issue because a movie could be eligible for grants for 5% of its budget up to $2 million, but a video game tops out at $250,00..."

Watson's 3/17 Speech Against Voter ID
Transcript of Austin senator's remarks
DAILY News  March 18, 2009, by Lee Nichols
"...There remains only the flimsiest evidence that voter impersonation – the only type of fraud addressed by this bill – even exists. Not counting 60-year-old history and the unverified testimony of a controversial witness for a partisan elections administrator, nothing at all we’ve heard demonstrates that this is actually occurring any more than anecdotally in Texas...."

Gay Place
Gov. Greg Abbott signs discriminatory bill into law
Columns  June 22, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...San Marcos River. $30-60..."

Whole Woman's Abortion Clinic To Reopen in Austin
First abortion clinic reopens since SCOTUS HB 2 ruling
DAILY News  March 16, 2017, by Mary Tuma
"...183) closed its doors in July 2014, largely due to the ambulatory surgical center provision – which would have cost the WWH more than $1 million in medically unnecessary renovations. In addition to abortion care, the clinic offered comprehensive women’s health services, including annual exams, pap smears, birth control, emergency contraception, and counseling for 60,000 women..."

Looking at the Lege After a Flaccid Special Session
Alpha males Abbott and Patrick can't get their red meat passed
News Story  August 17, 2017, by the News Staff
"...If lawmakers did not pass those extensions, they would all have begun a one-year wrap-up process, at the end of which Texas would no longer license professionals in those sectors. Fortunately, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 20 and SB 60, extending their remit and funding through 2019..."

Nonprofits and the City's Quest for Affordable Housing
Helping usher Austin out of a quagmire of inequality
News Story  July 13, 2017, by Joseph Caterine
"...The blueprint calls for the city to facilitate the production of 45,000 new units for households with incomes below 60% median family income (roughly $32,000 per one-person household) over the next 10 years. Nonprofits will contribute, Patterson noted, but the city will have to employ various tools of its own to accomplish the lion's share of the enormous task, such as changing the permitting process through CodeNEXT and revamping its density bonus programs..."

This Way to the Big Top!
From budget disaster to hysterical bloodletting, the legislative circus is back in town
News Story  January 14, 2011, by Richard Whittaker, Wells Dunbar, Lee Nichols and Jordan Smith
"...It remains to be seen how lawmakers will continue to justify spending millions each year since 2005 on the Alternatives to Abortion program – which is designed to "encourage" women to complete their pregnancies but provides no medical services whatsoever. Last session, lawmakers raised the program's budget by a whopping 60% – to provide counseling to carry pregnancies to term and to provide referrals to other government-funded projects, like food stamps..."

Lege Lines: Film Incentive Program Funding Uncertain, Anti-Choice Buffoonery, and More
Lege considers film incentive program funding and anti-choice antics take hold
News Story  March 19, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...That would basically decimate the program, which is relatively small and parsimonious, compared to other states like Louisiana and Michigan (two states that have stolen away several films nominally set in Texas). However, House negotiations already have it at closer to $60 million..."

The Big Legebowski
The session will be remembered largely as an opportunity lost to partisan displays
News Story  June 12, 2009, by Lee Nichols and Jordan Smith
"...Despite several assaults from a faction of lawmakers seeking to defund Planned Parenthood, the budget for women's reproductive health care remained intact. But after backroom battles in the budget conference committee, the foes of reproductive health expenditures did win their bid to increase by 60% the budget for the state's Alter­na­tives to Abortion program, which funds crisis pregnancy centers. Criminal Justice: Not Much Accomplished..."

On the Lege: A $156 Million Disaster
The Accenture scheme blows up in the state's face
News Column  March 23, 2007
"...In other words, it's an incentive program for women who agree not to abort. (Under the program the state would only accept babies from "legal" citizens, so no illegal immigrant mothers need apply, thank you very much.) Under the bill, the $500 would be paid out "within 60 days" after the woman terminates her parental rights..."

Small Victory, Bitter Defeats
A small win for the good guys, followed by a huge loss.
News Column  May 2, 2003, by Michael King
"...Reportedly, opponents had the 11 votes necessary to keep SB 933 off the floor, but Shapleigh and West decided instead to amend it, primarily to limit the cost of the program and to cap the pilot schools at two and the enrollment at 2,000 students. (Supporters trumpeted the accountability and monitoring provisions in the bill, but the student-teacher ratio for this video pseudo-learning gives the cut-rate education game away: It's a disgraceful 60-1.)..."

Show Them the Need
The great GOP wave breaks on the realities of the actual cost of government
News Story  June 10, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Constitution, then abusive and intrusive ultrasound procedures for women seeking abortions. In legislative terms, the "emergency" designation lets lawmakers waive the constitutional restrictions on passing bills in the first 60 days of the session..."

Reefer Madness: Treatment Works
Bill would divert low-level drug offenders from prison and save a bundle of money
News Story  March 6, 2009, by Jordan Smith
"...These defendants instead would be put into community supervision and, importantly, drug treatment – at an average cost of just $3,241 per person. The drug treatment costs would be paid by the individual, if possible, meaning the state would have to provide drug-treatment funding for roughly 60% of offenders eligible for the diversion..."

Lege Notes
Odds and ends (mostly odds) from the 79th
News Column  April 15, 2005
"...• Asbestos lawsuits have bankrupted some 60 companies, Sen. Kyle Janek, R-Houston, told a Senate committee Monday in introducing a bill that would limit the number of claims filed in Texas..."

On the Lege
Byrd Bill Stalls ... Again
News Column  May 13, 1999
"...Fourth streets, is part of a whopping redevelopment plan for downtown's west end. Once all the pieces are in place, the new $60 million museum would sit just north of a three-block office project, a new City Hall, and an upscale residential building..."

Lege Lines: The Score
How the 83rd did on water infrastructure, the budget, education, the environment, and transportation
News Story  June 14, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...Don­na Howard, D-Austin, was part of the negotiations over the split. She backed using tiered funding to deal with equity disparities but, she said, "at the same time, the vast majority of our Central Texas schools don't benefit from the formula." For example, even though 60% of AISD students are eating free or reduced lunches, the district only receives $103 extra in 2014 and $105 in 2015 because it is considered "property rich." That would have been much less if urban lawmakers hadn't convinced their fellow legislators to split the money using the weighted average daily allowance, rather than just the standard funding formulas..."

Halfway to Nowhere
As the Lege turns the corner, there's still plenty of time for trouble
News Column  April 1, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...And that's just the half of it. On Tuesday, lawmakers returned from Easter vacation and plunged headlong into the remaining 60 days of the session – plenty of time to wreak more havoc..."

Naked City
Texas House passes Hate Crimes bill; mesasure goes to Senate.
News Story  April 27, 2001, by Amy Smith
"...Hate Crimes Bill, just as she did in the 1999 session. This session's 87-60 vote included two Republican crossovers -- Buddy West of Odessa and Gary Walker of Plains -- who opposed the bill two years ago..."

Special Session Especially Likely?
With the session at the 60-day mark, bills are running out of time
News Story  March 20, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...On March 13, the Legislature hit its first big date on the calendar. The 60-day mark is the deadline for filing nonlocal and nonemergency bills and joint resolutions: By close of business, the House had filed 5,721 bills, while senators had filed 2,942, putting them up about 20% over the total number filed in 2007..."

House of Representatives is finally hearing bills on the floor
News Story  March 22, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...The Voting Begins Well, it took just 71 days, but the House of Representatives is finally hearing bills on the floor. The Texas Constitution restricts the lower chamber from floor discussion in the first 60 days of the session – finally, on March 19, the House addressed its first actual calendar..."

Odds and ends from the Capitol
News Story  March 27, 2009, by the News Staff
"...Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin... After a daylong debate on March 24, the Senate voted 22-8 to place a 60% cap on university admissions under the top 10% rule..."

Austin - bands, bikes, billboards, ballots, Bradley, and beyond - under scrutiny.
Columns  April 27, 2001
"...The $60 Million Question..."

The 85th’s State Something
Taking stock at the Lege's midway point
News Story  March 16, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...The calendar has already passed one of its most significant deadlines: On March 10, lawmakers faced the 60th day, and the cut-off point for filing non-local legislation. Of course, most serious measures have already been filed (if a bill isn't getting traction by now, it'll be unlikely to make it off the floor before sine die, May 29), so lawmakers decided to have a little fun..."

Senate Budget Lesser of Two Evils
Reps from both chambers commence to thrash out final numbers
News Story  May 13, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Take Article II, the complete Health and Human Services budget. In 2009, the Legislature approved a $60 billion budget for all the health and welfare agencies..."

Naked City
Headlines and Happenings from Austin and Beyond
News Story  May 12, 2006
"...The point is not simply to offer affordable housing initially but to keep that housing affordable as property values rise at the 700-acre project, said Commissioner Donna Carter. One in four units at Mueller will be affordable for families with incomes at both 60% and 80% of median income..."

W.'s Paper Chase
Bush attempts to have his state papers declared federal property.
News Story  September 28, 2001, by Lucius Lomax
"...The trucks were on a 110-mile trip to the southeast, to College Station and Texas A&M University -- specifically, to the George Bush Presidential Library on the A&M campus. Carrying 60 shrink-wrapped pallets of documents, the convoy was removing Gov..."

Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
News Story  March 25, 2005, by Lee Nichols and Cheryl Smith
"...Bush, on the Terri Schiavo case. For more on Bush, complex cases, and erring on the side of life, see "Beyond City Limits."Headlines• On Monday, City Manager Toby Futrell postponed for 60 days a proposal for the city to provide a $750,000 forgivable loan to the owners of the Eastside night club Midtown Live, and will instead propose several weeks of public discussion before returning to City Council..."

Naked City
News Story  March 11, 2005, by Lee Nichols and Cheryl Smith
"...Quote of the Week"Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog." – Travis Co. District Attorney Ronnie Earle, on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday.Headlines• The House bills on public school finance and property taxes went to the House floor, with passage expected this week..."

Reform on Hold
Want Telecom Reform? Hang Up and Dial Again
News Column  December 20, 1996, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...These FCC rules were intended to supersede state regulations that were uniformly kinder to the incumbents and especially to the Bells -- requiring them to offer smaller discounts to a much smaller set of potential competitors. In one state, the Baby Bell is only required to provide a 5% discount, and state rules make it nearly impossible for potential competitors to qualify even for that token break -- most new entrants have to build new physical plant serving at least 60% of their calling area. Guess which state that would be. Now guess how many lobbyists Southwestern Bell sends this-a-way every two years, in order to keep that deal in place..."

Taking Children Private
The road to privatizing Child Protective Services is getting slick and dangerous
News Column  April 8, 2005, by Amy Smith
"...Proponents of the House plan assert that privatizing case management would allow the state to focus on the backbone of CPS – investigations – the most troubled division in the agency, due in large part to Texas' miserly spending habits, evidenced by studies showing that the state spends 60% less than the national average on child protection, and 40% less than the average spent by Southern states. On top of this, the state expects to encounter additional costs through privatization, both with the additional layer of administration and the increased staff required to oversee the private contractors...."

Play Misty for Me
Did you know Bill Cosby is an accomplished jazz drummer?
Music Story  September 18, 2014, by Raoul Hernandez
"...BC: No, no, no. Look, for $60 a week, 1963, I played the Gaslight coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, from 8pm to 4am..."

The Whole Truce
Gary Bradley ponders the significance of his proposed settlement agreement with the city of Austin.
News Story  February 25, 2000, by Robert Bryce
"...GB: In round numbers, I would say that we would be decreasing the number of planned residential units by 40% to 50% and the amount of commercial development by 60% to 70%...."

How Texas Is Texas Wine?
What “Truth in Labeling” means for Texas winemakers and vineyards
Food Story  April 27, 2017, by Veronica Meewes
"..."There are currently hundreds of uncontracted acres – 600 or more, as far as I know – of Texas grapes," agrees Benjamin Calais, owner of Calais Winery in Hye. He facilitated grape purchase and drop-off for three wineries besides his own last year and says he would be glad to do so again...."

Reefer Roundup 2/11/11
Your roundup of drug war news
DAILY News  February 11, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...Friends of Reefer Madness over at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition alerted us to this news from The Economist magazine: "A huge majority of Americans…support the legalization and taxation of marijuana." That's right, in a new poll from the magazine, nearly 70% in the 18-29 cohort, nearly 60% of the 30-64 cohort and more than 40% of the 65+ers – the age group that, historically, has been less likely to say they are in favor of such things – all now favor legalization...."

Watson Takes What He Can Get
Austin senator cuts budget breather from five days to two
DAILY News  January 21, 2011, by Lee Nichols
"...Voter ID – shorthand for requiring photo ID in addition to a voter registration certificate at the polling place – was declared “emergency” legislation by Gov. Rick Perry, which means bills can be debated and approved in the first 60 days of the session, something normally not allowed..."

Top 10% Debate in Bottom Percentile
SB175 session in the Senate an unfortunate model for how legislation gets passed
DAILY News  March 26, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...While the big debate on the Top 10% university admissions rule took place on Tuesday, the final vote out of the Senate took place Wednesday. The plan to cap admissions to 60% of any incoming class actually shored up its majority over night, rising from 23-8 to 24-7 (Sen..."

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