The Look Ahead: What to Expect in the Texas Legislature the Week of Jan. 30

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 look at the week to come in the Texas Legislature.Mark your calendars Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday will give his State of the State address to a joint meeting of the House and Senate. The speech gives Abbott an opportunity to weigh in on lawmakers' lawmaking, as he'll outline his priorities for the session. The address also gives him a chance to share a list of issues lawmakers will be allowed to take action on during the first months of the session. It's unclear what these so-called "emergency items" might be. Abbott has so far shied away from weighing in on controversial issues like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's bathroom bill and school funding. It would be a safe bet, though, Abbott's speech will include some talk of so-called "sanctuary cities," a topic that has been front-and-center for him and President Trump this week. The speech is definitely a big moment for Abbott, as the Texas Tribune reported, it is likely his last "major policy push before his 2018 re-election campaign."Speaking of sanctuary cities, the Senate State Affairs committee will hear testimony Thursday on a bill to ban them by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock. The bill is a legislative priority of both Abbott and Patrick (hence its low number: Senate bill 4). By the numbers: Mexican importsPresident Donald Trump last week floated the idea of imposing a 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports as a means of paying for the multi-billion-dollar border wall he has ordered between the U.S. and Mexico. While Trump has continued to say that Mexico will pay for the wall (Mexican officials, however, say not so much), the tax would be paid by American consumers and businesses. How much would a tax like that hurt your pocketbook when you have a craving for guacamole, margaritas or other Mexican delights? In 2015, Texas alone would have paid an additional $16.8 billion in taxes for Mexican products.  Continue reading...

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