Happy Budget Day! Today, our Policy & Advocacy Strategist, @lapinchedarcy will be livetweeting one of the most exciting days of the #txlege: Budget Day!

Sounds boring, but here’s why it’s actually incredibly important:
➡️ SB 1 and HB 2 are the budget bills from each chamber. SB 1 (which will be debated first) has 245 amendments filed on it, which means *a LOT* of debate. HB 2 has less, but it’ll probably be late when we get to it.
➡️ This is a zero-sum game! Any amendment that seeks to fund an item in the budget has to take those funds from another item in the budget, which can lead to hurt feelings.
➡️ Republicans tend to take this as an opportunity to stake their claim in the Culture War. You should fully expect to see anti-immigrant, transphobic, and other controversial items being debated for political points.
As the House gavels in, you can watch here! https://tlchouse.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=8&event_id=6362

We'll keep you in the loop for the highlights! #txlege
As an update: debate still hasn't started - instead, they're debating the rules of the debate #txlege
Amendments have started and up next is an amendment by Rep. Slaton, which would defund the Arts ($10M -> $0) to fund the "President Donald J. Tr*mp Wall" 🙄🙄

A point of order is called on it by MALC Chair
@RafaelAnchia #txlege
update: both the amendment by Slaton and the point order were withdrawn, which sometimes happens because an agreement was reached due to how awful the amendment was! Next! #txlege
There's a couple more D amendments withdrawn - possibly as a trade to get Rs to withdraw some of their bad amendments. We'll see how it plays out. #txlege
with a vote 73-64, Rep. @jessicafortexas scores a win and passes an amendment that caps AG attorney's fees at $500/hour - per her layout, some were charging up to $3k/hour #txlege
Apparently $12,000 was spent on printing costs alone #txlege
Amendment by Rep. Beckley ( @ForHD65): a budget rider requiring that the AG's office submit a quarterly report to House Appropriations & Senate Finance indicating how much $ was spent on election/voting-related litigation that month #txlege
The amendment is acceptable to the author and adopted!! yay @ForHD65 for more transparency in the AG's office on the amount they spend on their unfounded "fraud" claims
Keeping in line with his last anti-immigrant amendment, Rep. Slaton puts up an amendment prohibiting "illegal aliens" (yikes) from accessing COVID-19 relief funds (double yikes!!)

Rep. @andoconmando39 brings up a point of order. And now we wait. #txlege
Because it would create general law (rather than just amend budget items), the point of order is sustained!! the amendment goes down!! #txlege
We've been hearing about this "Article XI" - this is basically a wishlist of amendments that (usually) go nowhere. You'll hear a lot of things get moved over to it, especially toward the end. #txlege
Pointing to some of the beef between the legislature and the governor, Rep. Tinderholt (R) puts up an amendment that would defund the Governor's office if he declares a state of emergency and doesn't convene the legislature within 60 days #txlege (1/2)
update: both the point of order and the amendment were withdrawn #txlege
another amendment, another point of order: Slaton brought up an amendment prohibiting the governor from closing businesses after a state of emergency; point of order by Rep. @TurnerForTX saying it creates general law #txlege
the point of order has been withdrawn, the amendment has been withdrawn, rinse, repeat #txlege
Rep. @Jon_RosenthalTX sends up an amendment (that he will withdraw) to move $5M from Homeland Security to Elections Administration, requiring that the SOS fund a Vote by Mail Public Awareness Campaign. Speaks about voting still needing to be made safe and accessible. #txlege
Tinderholt puts forth an amendment to prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving any grant assistance from the Trusteed Programs within the Gov's office *big sigh*

Rep. @lina4texas calls a point of order, and both are brought down with lightning speed. #txlege
it got withdrawn but Elections Committee Chair Briscoe Cain had proposed that any biz threatening action against TX due to election legislation would be unable receive funds from a program for job creation.

FYI: Cain went to PA to litigate the 2020 election results #txlege
Cain proposes an amendment saying counties whose elections administrator has been found by a judge to not be complying with the election code cannot receive funds for their Primary or voter registration

Rep. @BucyForTexas calls a point of order on it #txlege
.....and we're back - point of order is sustained!! Cain's amendment would create general law because it would add additional requirements that are not in current law. The amendment comes down #txlege
Now onto Article II about Health and Human Services #txlege
Amendment is adopted without objection!! #txlege
Good amendment by Rep. @votelizcampos that would require a study identifying disparities in the distribution or access to COVID tests and vaccines based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, and location #txlege
Another amendment adopted without objection!! #txlege
Rep. Krause wants to give Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) $20M from the IT Oversight and Program Support budget item. #txlege
Amendment is adopted 👎 #txlege
On the subject of A2A, Rep. @RDBobbyGuerra proposes an amendment (that he'll withdraw) requiring A2A produce a written report detailing the applications received for funding, who the recipients were, and how A2A picked the recipients. #txlege
Similar to her foster youth amendment, Rep. @Victoria4Texas proposes an amendment to study veteran su*c*de rates. #txlege

Amendment is adopted without objection.
Chair @GFColeman brings up a prescient issue: #MedicaidExpansion! With the withdrawal of our federal waiver, Texas is now under pressure to find a solution for its uninsured population.

Check out why expanding Medicaid is GOOD for Texas ⬇️⬇️ #txlege
68-89, the amendment fails to adopt #txlege 👎👎👎
Lotta withdrawn amendments today - probably a good thing given how ugly a lot of them were. #txlege
Rep. @VikkiGoodwinTX with an amendment that would study the prevalence and treatment of postpartum depression, and see if there are health disparities across different groups. The amendment is adopted without objection #txlege
That's a wrap on Article II, next is Article III! This article pertains to Education!! #txlege
Rep. @EddieforTexas proposes an amendment that would require the state to send nearly $18 billion in federal aid directly to schools!! Thank you for supporting #PubEd #txlege
Adopted without objection!! #txlege
this one also got withdrawn but it was funny: Oliverson proposed that if a school district doesn't display a "durable poster or framed copy of" In God We Trust, they would be unable receive grant funds. Note: it must be purchased privately and donated to the school #txlege
Seems the House is slowing down a bit, but we've got another point of order by Rep. @abelherrero, this time on a Toth amendment that would allow the Texas Ed Agency to create a private school choice program (which is known to be used as a way to starve #PubEd). #txlege
both the amendment and the point of order have been withdrawn #txlege
Rep. @jamestalarico, ever the generous Rep, announces that all offices should have received a box of @roundrockdonuts to help them power through the night #txlege
Rep. Cason brings up amendment against what he thinks is "critical theory", saying that the TX Dept of Education can't teach it for any reason #txlege

What he's referring to is this:
Chair @NicoleCollier95 raises a point of order that it would create general law and that it's "downright evil" (she's right) #txlege
Point of order is sustained!! #txlege
Took a while for Slaton to bring up his first transphobic amendment: money cannot be used to affirm a child's gender if it is not in accordance with their "biological sex" based on their organs, chromosomes, and hormone profiles (??). Unsure how they'd enforce this one!! #txlege
Badass Rep. @ErinForYall calls a point of order and we are back in the waiting zone #txlege
Given that there's no existing way for schools to enforce it (without writing general law), point of order is sustained!! #txlege
After a line of parliamentary inquiries (aka questions to the Speaker) from Slaton, he's now indicating may want to appeal the ruling on the point of order. We'll see if he follows through. #txlege
Rep. @moralesfortexas proposes an amendment that would increase the Rural Resident Physician grant money awarded for physician residency programs at teaching hospitals to support expansion of docs in rural areas. Will be moved to Article XI #txlege https://texasobserver.org/driving-my-life-away/
Rep. Stucky has an amendment on feral hog abatement. no thoughts here really, other than to re-flag an iconic moment in history #txlege: https://twitter.com/WillieMcNabb/status/1158045307562856448?s=20
Aaaaand we've reached Article IV (of XI): The Judiciary! #txlege
Hardly any amendments there; onto Article V: Public Safety & Criminal Justice! #txlege
Rep. Tinderholt calls a point of order on it (bc of course) #txlege
a brief pause while i picked up dinner but here's what you missed: the point of order was withdrawn, and Rep. @moodyforelpaso's amendment was adopted!! #txlege
There's also another powerful moment when Rep. @moodyforelpaso brought up another amendment to prohibit the purchase of pentobarbital (the drug used in death row executions). #txlege
Though the amendment was withdrawn, he used the time to speak to against the death penalty, saying that we've debated the most humane type of drug to kill feral hogs, yet continue to use something worse for humans. #txlege
And we're in Article VI: Natural Resources! You should expect it to start moving a bit faster - surprisingly, we might even wrap up before midnight! #txlege
Amendment is adopted without objection!! #txlege
just want to note that an amendment by Rep. @ronereynolds that would require a report from oil and gas facilities re: emissions, use of flaring, leak detection, etc got a point of order called on it by Rep. Middleton, President of Middleton Oil Company #txlege👀
both the amendment and the point of order were withdrawn #txlege
Onto Article VII: Biz & Econ Development!!
Amendment adopted without objection #txlege
aaaaaaaand an eye-roll amendment by Middleton: no money can be used to enforce a mask requirement on ferries operated by TXDoT #txlege

point of order raised by Rep. @TerryCanales40

*cue jeopardy music*
super fast: both the point of order and the amendment have been withdrawn #txlege
Moving into Article VIII: Regulatory!!

fyi: we are on page 241 of 296 total (for SB 1) so we're gettin there!! again, many will get taken down so we're hurtling to the end!! wow
Rep. @GinaForAustin proposes a great amendment that would require the PUC to study whether connection to the Eastern/Western Interconnects or Mexico would inc reliability, what the impact would be on our energy costs, and other benefits. #txlege
amendment is adopted without objection!! and we move into Article IX #txlege
Oliverson with a bad amendment (that he will withdraw): money from this article cannot be given to a business unless they certify that they haven't publicly threatened adverse action based on "election integrity" - they're talking to you Mr. American Airlines! #txlege
i promise i haven't left! they've just been on this point of order for a WHILE #txlege
seems we've reached the point of the night where folks are either withdrawing their amendments or moving them all to Article XI (that wishlist we talked about). There's still HB 2 (the house version of the budget), but there's only 8 amendments filed on it #txlege
side note, if you ever want to be the Speaker of the House, practice saying "amendment to the amendment" five times fast
And we're in Article X! even though it's nighttime, we're beginning to see the light
Interesting partnership: noted foes Rep. @DonnaHowardTX & Rep. Schaefer go in on an amendment to raise House staff salaries (desperately needed, imo). Also, shoutout to all the staff who've been working late nights prepping for today #txlege
Rep. @DonnaHowardTX has been asked to move it to Article XI, but she does so with the hopes that conference committee will adopt the amendment and give staff long overdue raises #txlege
Very needed: Rep. @GeneforTexas has an amendment requiring language interpreter services be provided at redistricting hearings and any other committee that requests it.

Currently, people who are not proficient in English must provide their own interpreters. #txlege
amendment is adopted without objection!! #txlege
The Speaker has announced that all other amendments were not filed on time and will not be heard. We're now moving onto closing arguments for/against the budget as amended #txlege
I do want to highlight one of those, which was filed by @RepToniRoseTX, and would've prohibited money going toward changes in TX election laws and redistricting maps unless they have been confirmed by the US DOJ to not violate the Voting Rights Act or US Constitution #txlege
a bit of a pivot - we're now moving onto HB 2, which is the House's version of the budget. Again, only 8 amendments; should (theoretically) not take too long #txlege
with only 4 amendments on it, HB 2 is done! now, SB 1 and HB 2 just need the final vote for them to go to conference committee and hammer out the differences #txlege
it's not even 11PM! i'm happy most staffers (and myself!) will get a good night's sleep tonight, with most irrelevant BS having been kept out of the budget and some actually good things being added to it??? #txlege
Final vote on SB 1: 149 ayes, 0 nays (Speaker voted aye)

Final vote on HB 2: 148 ayes, 0 nays

Speaker's desk is clear! So what's next for the budget?

The House and Senate will now designate conference committee members who will iron out all the differences in the original bill vs the amended bill and produce one final budget. We'll see what they keep! #txlege
As for me ( @lapinchedarcy), this was super fun and I hope it taught you something new! Seeing how the sausage gets made may not seem exciting, but the decisions made on that floor affect you regardless.

Let us know if you'd like to see more of these. Motion to adjourn! #txlege
You can follow @texasdemocrats.
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