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More of What We Already Know

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Last week, Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University unveiled his spread of the Texas Senate from left to right. As with the House, the study once again validates the accuracy of the Fiscal Responsibility Index. This session, the Texas Senate served as the conservative anchor of the legislature for two major reasons. The first was…

A Closer Look at Tax Reform

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Property tax reform, while a wildly popular issue among Texans, has been largely dismissed by a Republican-led legislature. While much needed attention has finally been paid towards reducing the onerous business franchise tax, too little consideration has been given towards reducing the growth of property tax burdens on business. The property tax package advanced by…

Freshmen Lawmakers Deliver Results

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With the release of the 2015 Fiscal Responsibility Index the record is clear—the Texas Senate has radically improved when compared to the previous session. As this publication anticipated, much of that can be explained by the fresh leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats, but just as well,…

Jodie Laubenberg: Swindled by House Leadership

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A few years ago, Texas conservatives would be hard pressed to find a more reliable ally in Austin than State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker). She fought for taxpayers and even supported then-State Rep. Ken Paxton (R‑Plano) in his bid for Speaker of the House against liberal Joe Straus. Laubenberg wasn’t limited to fiscal conservative bona…

Straus’ Revisionist History

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In a recent interview, liberal House Speaker Joe Straus was asked to respond to allegations from many, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, that conservative bills went to House Calendars only to die without a vote. Citing the example of SB 1968 by State Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Brazoria), legislation that would have stopped the state government…

Harless Claims Hijacked Ethics Bill “Was Never Going to Pass”

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Just days after the end of the 84th legislative session, one state representative is admitting that provisions added to Gov. Greg Abbott’s landmark ethics legislation by the leadership of the Texas House were designed to kill the bill. State Rep. Patricia Harless (R–Spring) took to her Facebook account to defend her vote in favor of provisions…

Dan Patrick Got It Done

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On his first vote as a state senator, Dan Patrick voted alone. In the recently concluded legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the state senate substantively delivered on every measure he campaigned on last year. A main stay of Patrick’s policy agenda, since he first ran for a Houston-area state senate seat a decade…

Abbott: House Hijacking of Ethics Bill Unconstitutional

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In an interview with reporters yesterday about the death of his landmark ethics legislation, Gov. Greg Abbott laid the blame for the bill’s death squarely at the feet of State Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana) and the leadership of the Texas House. “It’s important for legislators not to try and pass laws that have already been…