What kept your lawmakers busy this week

• Nice work if you can get it: The House and Senate took a four-day weekend for Easter.

• Health advocates have asked House Appropri­a­tions Chair Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, to rewrite Children's Medicaid rules to increase enrollment from six months to a year. The $296 million price tag would bring in $450 million in matching federal funds, insure more kids, and cut administrative and emergency room costs.

• Senate Bill 855, which would give Travis Co. and 18 other counties the power to hold tax-raising elections for transport funding, passed the Senate 21-9 – surviving a threat from Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, who said it might be unconstitutional.

• Crossing the "i"s, dotting the "t"s: House Bill 3, the mammoth public school accountability bill, is still being rewritten after additional public consultation. While they initially expected it back from the drafters on April 14, House Public Education Committee staff are hopeful of an April 17 delivery – exactly a month after its last hearing.

• The House Federal Economic Stabilization Funding Select Committee released its midsession report, with agency-by-agency recommendations about what the federal stimulus money can and can't pay for.

• The Lege giveth: SB 16, a major clean air bill loaded with vehicle emission reduction incentives, passed the Senate.

• And the Lege taketh away: Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, has said he expects to bring HB 469, his clean coal incentive bill, to the House soon. Critics say it is just corporate welfare for energy companies indulging in greenwashing.

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81st Legislature, Jim Pitts, Children's Medicaid, Steve Ogden, HB 3, federal stimulus, Phil King, coal

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