SENATE PASSES BUDGET

After a series of parliamentary maneuvers, the Senate passed the Committee Substitute to House Bill 1 (C.S.H.B. 1).  On Tuesday, Senator Ogden (the Senate sponsor of C.S.H.B. 1 and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) failed to secure the necessary 21 votes to suspend the rules to bring the bill before the full Senate.  Using an obscure Senate rule allowing House bills to be considered on Wednesdays without suspending the regular order of business (which requires a 2/3 vote), Senator Ogden needed only 16 votes to pass the bill.  The Senate voted 19-12 to pass the bill, with all 12 Democrats voting against.

The Senate amended C.S.H.B. 1 to make additional across-the-board reductions of 1.2 percent in general revenue appropriations to state agencies.  This will likely affect the cuts that we have previously reported to mixed beverage tax reimbursements, local parks grants, library aid, solid waste grants, and homeless funds.

C.S.H.B. 1 now returns to the House.  Each chamber will now appoint a conference committee to work out the differences. 

In the next few days, TML will send out a survey asking each city to rank – in order of importance – the various cuts found within C.S.H.B. 1.  We will then actively work to restore the cuts based on your input, which will guide League staff as we work with the conference committee in the days ahead.


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Texas Municipal League.

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