Political Points: Property Tax Bill's First Hurdle, Trump to Visit Texas, Dallas Confederate Memorial

Good morning!Here are the top political headlines from Austin, Washington, Dallas County and the campaign trail.Points from Austin1. A property tax relief bill that would force local governments and school districts to cap their tax revenue endured its first hurdle Wednesday after hours of testimony from nervous city leaders, who fear tighter budgets, and homeowners giddy about the possibility of lower taxes.Austin correspondent Rebekah Allen followed the 13-hour debate so you didn't have to. Police officers, mayors, and local officials came from across Texas to implore the five-member committee to vote against the 2.5 percent revenue cap for school districts and local governments proposed in Senate Bill 2.Police officers, mayors, and local officials came from across Texas to implore the five-member committee to vote against the 2.5 percent revenue cap for school districts and local governments proposed in Senate Bill 2.They had held a news conference Tuesday to sound the alarm on the proposal, but in North Texas, the Collin County commissioners went the other way.2. As more Texas children go to school without receiving vaccines, lawmakers and advocacy groups want parents to be able to find out how many unvaccinated kids are in their children’s schools. A bill from Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, would allow parents to obtain immunization information about a specific school without filing an open records request, which is the current policy.3. Gov. Greg Abbott's third State of the State speech Tuesday grabbed attention as much for what he didn't say as for what he did. The Republican governor didn't serve lawmakers any red-meat items such as immigration, abortion and public-sector unions, as he offered last time. This year, Abbott spoke soberly of conciliation, between parties and the House and Senate.And the University of Texas graduate struck a conciliatory tone with another party: Texas A&M graduate Lyle Larson, a San Antonio Republican who filed a bill that would force the two schools to resume playing football against each other. Abbott said he's "willing to step up and put aside past differences" to reinstate the rivalry game.4. Sen. Charles Schwertner's wife filed for divorce this week, several months after he was accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a college student, but the Georgetown Republican said they aren't separating. "Yes, we're reconciling," Schwertner told The News on Wednesday. "We love each other very much."5. The chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court called on lawmakers to increase judicial pay, overhaul pretrial detention and do away with the state's system of electing judges by political party during his regular speech to the Legislature on Wednesday."No method of judicial selection is perfect," Chief Justice Nathan Hecht told those gathered for his State of the Judiciary address. "Still, partisan election is among the very worst methods."6. We're trying to make it easier, and more fun, to stay informed on what your state representatives and senators are up to. In the spirit of Schoolhouse Rock, we've started a video series about politics. The first installment is about how the state Legislature works.7. At our new site, Texas Tracker: Your Guide to the State Legislature, you'll find stories, analysis and more from the Capitol. If you're a Dallas Morning News subscriber, you can customize your feed. Sign in, click the issues you want to follow, and you'll see only posts matching those topics.Point from the trail  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us