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Will Texas House Kill ‘Significant’ Tax Relief?

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More than $4 billion in tax relief sailed through the Senate on Wednesday, but faces an uneasy future in the Texas House — where the leadership team around obstructionist Speaker Joe Straus has called such efforts “gimmickry.” As a result, House members might have some uncomfortable explaining to do back home. Gov. Greg Abbott has promised…

Senate Passes Property, Franchise Tax Relief

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By super-majority votes, the Texas Senate on Wednesday approved $4.6 billion in tax relief in a series of measures aimed at helping small businesses and homeowners. “Rather than spend excess revenue, the Senate has voted to return $4.6 billion to Texas homeowners and businesses over the next two years,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick after…

Schwertner: Big-Business Opposition to Tax Relief ‘Disappointing’

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Calling their opposition to tax relief “disappointing and discouraging,” State Sen. Charles Schwertner penned a stinging rebuke to big business associations. In a letter dated March 24, Schwetner takes special aim at the Texas Association of Business for opposition to tax cuts that will be considered on Wednesday. “The Texas Association of Business claims to…

Straus Shifts Gears

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Earlier this month we wrote about how Texas House Speaker Joe Straus was slow-rolling the reading and referral of bills – particularly certain conservative priorities. Since then, Straus has picked up the pace. Reading and Referral of House Bills and House Joint Resolutions by week February 9 – 13:  373 HBs & HJRs February 16…

Senate Readies For Major Tax Relief Vote

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[Updated below.]While taxpayers are eager for relief, crony-business interests are working to undermine the Texas Senate’s tax relief efforts. In votes that will test the new resolve of the conservative majority, senators will be choosing on Wednesday between establishment-insiders and their voters back home. Senate Bills 1, 8 and SJR1 will offer significant relief and reform…

Zerwas: The ObamaCare Republican

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Two years ago, State Rep. John Zerwas was a relentless zealot for imposing ObamaCare on Texas. Conspiring with House Democrats, the Simonton Republican used parliamentary tricks and floor confusion to sneak an amendment into the budget that would have pulled Texas deeper into the clutches of federalized health care. Realizing what he had done, conservatives…

Delivering On Promises

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Delivering on their promises, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Kelly Hancock have delivered the most significant reform to state budgeting since the late 1970s. A pair of measures unveiled at the Capitol today would strictly limit the growth of government to no more than the sum of population growth and inflation. That’s the measure…

Strengthening the Spending Cap

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At a press conference Tuesday, State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and Lt.  Gov. Dan Patrick unveiled new legislation that would dramatically  improve Texas’ constitutional spending cap. Under the Texas Constitution, the current cap constrains the spending growth rate of non-dedicated General Revenue only; it does not cap spending on any federal funds spent,…