The Look Ahead: What to Expect in the Texas Legislature the Week of April 24

AUSTIN — Good morning, y'all, and welcome to The Dallas Morning News' weekly political preview: The Look Ahead. Join us here every Monday morning for a peek at the week to come in the Texas Legislature.Give me a T! Give me an H! Give me an E! Give me an 8! Give me a 5! Give me a "th" sound! What does that spell? The 85th! Your source for N-E-W-S from the Texas C-A-P-I-T-O-L. Mark your calendars The major fireworks at the Capitol this week are expected on Wednesday, when House lawmakers will debate a bill that would ban local rules that prevent law enforcement from enforcing immigration laws or asking about someone's immigration status -- the so-called "sanctuary cities" ban. The Senate passed its version of the bill in February, and the House has since softened the proposal, stripping it of a provision that would cut funding to local programs if an official violated the law. One lawmaker, Dallas Democrat Rep. Victoria Neave, on Sunday announced that said she's fasting in protest of the bill through Wednesday. Lawmakers have until Tuesday at 1 p.m. to file amendments for the bill. There's only one person you could possibly follow for updates, and that's @JamesBarragan_.But before those fireworks, the Texas House on Monday will debate a bill that would give the state's cancer research agency a new (short) lease on life — two years to be exact. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas got $3 billion in bonds from the state in 2007 to use for cancer research and prevention over 10 years. But come 2020, the agency will still have $150 million left to invest, and they're asking lawmakers to give them more time. Want to see which way lawmakers will lean? I'll have live updates for you: @madlinbmek. Do you need another excuse to follow me on Twitter? I'll be at the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Monday as lawmakers take up a number of bills, including one increasing penalties for assaulting a pregnant woman and another changing assault penalties for athletes during a sporting event. The House Public Education Committee on Tuesday will hear testimony on a bill from Dallas Democrat Eric Johnson that would make it harder for students younger than 6 to be suspended from school. The Dallas school board adopted a similar policy earlier this year that would prevent students from being suspended for minor offenses, like classroom disruptions or talking back to a teacher. Your favorite public education reporter will be posting updates, follow along here: @EvaMarieAyala. The Texas Charter Schools Association will hold a rally at the Capitol on Wednesday to "celebrate public charter schools" and tell lawmakers to support legislation that fosters charter school growth. Want to catch live updates from the rally? Follow the DMN Education page for a live video of the rally on Wednesday at 1 p.m.The Senate will be debating bills next week, but their calendar is inscrutable. Instead of putting bills on specific days, they put them all on a general intent calendar and can pick and choose when to debate them on the floor. Here's a look at Monday's calendar. By the numbers: Texans and immigration opinionsIt turns out that Texans don't want to see a border wall, and they don't like sanctuary cities, where local rules prevent law enforcement from enforcing immigration laws and asking people about their immigration status. Most Texans also think that immigrants are more beneficial than they are harmful to the United States.An annual Texas Lyceum poll asked 1,000 Texas adults about their thoughts on immigration, a controversial topic that has been the subject of much policy discussion at the state and federal level. Border security and immigration were identified as the state's most important problems by 27 percent of those surveyed. Those issues beat out the economy, political corruption and health care. Take a look at the numbers below:   Continue reading...

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