Elsewhere Under the Dome

Rounding up the news left on the chamber floors

Photo by Jana Birchum

The Senate passed Senate Bill 1, its draft budget, on March 28, with $106.3 billion in spending for the 2018-19 biennium. That's up from their original $103.6 billion draft, but still below the $106.8 billion proposed in House Bill 1, the lower chamber's spending proposal. House lawmakers have filed more than 400 amendments to the budget bill, ranging from abortion to transgender rights to border security. Expect a long and controversial showdown this Thursday, April 6... The two chambers appear to remain divided on whether to use the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget, but there is optimism that rhetoric from Gov. Greg Abbott (who only opposes using the fund for recurring expenses) may leave an opening for the House's plan to dip into the fund for one-off expenses... The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education has broken its traditional silence on the state budget by slamming the Senate's proposal to impose sweeping cuts on state universities and colleges. The group, which includes administrators, regents, and business leaders, says the proposals will undermine academic standings and research... Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, is concerned that the state budget is not taking into account massive federal cuts proposed by the Trump administration. He told the Chronicle: "The budget is being written in the vacuum of saying, 'Something will happen, but we will move forward.'"... More bad news for Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Pflugerville: Early this week, District Judge Brad Urrutia denied her attorneys' request to dismiss four of the 13 felony charges she currently faces relating to abuse of office. Dukes continues to be a rare presence at the Legislature, and her working relationship with the rest of the Travis County delegation is basically nonexistent.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Lege Lines
Lege Lines: Think of the Children
Lege Lines: Think of the Children
Can the Lege fix Child Protective Services?

Richard Whittaker, May 12, 2017

Lege Lines: Same Old “Sanctuary”
Lege Lines: Same Old “Sanctuary”
House version of SB 4? Still Terrible.

Mary Tuma, April 21, 2017


Lege Lines, 85th Lege, Rainy Day Fund, Greg Abbott, Kirk Watson, Julie Kocurek, Judith Zaffirini, Paul Bettencourt, Sylvia Garcia, Joe Moody, Don Huffines, Dawnna Dukes

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle