Today's a big day in the Legislature, as the Texas House of Representatives debates HB 5, aka The Budget. Debate is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and probably won't wrap up until late, late at night.
What to watch for:
- Funding Education: Which Democrats push to add funding to education? How much funding?
- False Choices: What sucker votes will Republicans try to force in order to make Democrats choose between priorities?
- Family Planning: Last year the Republican legislature slashed funding from women's health and family planning. Will they repeat the effort or will they try to restore funding?
- UT Regents: GOP Rep. Jim Pitts has filed an amendment to restrict the UT Regents' authority.
Of course, there is also also a plethora of terrible, embarrassing amendments filed by Republicans. Will the basest elements of the GOP prevail?
- Homophobia and Misogyny: Rep. Bill Zedler filed an amendment to eliminate LGBT resource centers on state university and college campuses. The amendment would also eliminate state funding for women's centers and all gender and sexuality centers at Texas universities.
- Stem Cell Research: Rep. Jonathan Stickland wants to defund embryonic stem cell research. This would prohibit research projects funded by National Institutes of Health and by private sources from being conducted in any state-owned research institutions.
- Frosh Assault: Right-wing GOP freshman are planning an “assault” on the budget, trying to defund crucial programs under the guise of shoring up the Teacher's Retirement System. FYI, the Teachers are all “thanks, but no thanks.”
Below the jump, follow it all with our CoverItLive Liveblog of the proceedings, tracking progressive organizations and several Democratic representatives. Follow along with our CoverItLive and track key tweets about the floor debate. We've loaded in key progressive organizations and Democratic representatives to track the action as it happens.
Update: 11:00 a.m.
Amendments, ahoy! Keep track of all 267 of them.
* Read the current amendment here via the Texas Legislature Online.
* Check the status of all considered amendments here via the Texas Legislature Online.
* Learn about them here via the Legislative Study Group.