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September 23, 2021      8:43 AM

Bipartisan big city mayors urge state leaders to use billions in federal aid for critical needs like housing, child care, and business support

The needs they cited are “housing and utilities assistance, the healthcare system, broadband development and accessibility, business support, and early childhood education and child care”

A letter to state leaders signed by Democrats like Sylvester Turner of Houston and Republican Mattie Parker of Fort Worth is right here.

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September 22, 2021      3:07 PM

New budget limits for school districts squeeze $7.5 billion for tax compression

But any savings may not be immediately apparent to the taxpayer as limits on budget growth have been in place for two years for school districts and only a year for other jurisdictions

House Bill 3 – the 86th session’s school finance spending bill that also limited growth in school district budgets – has saved taxpayers $7.5 billion over the last two years, according to calculations out of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association.

The Texas school finance formula is a seesaw between local and state funds: the more a local school district can kick into the finance bucket, the less the state has push out to the school district. This is the way public education funding is smoothed and equalized across the state’s school districts and charter schools.

The consequence, intended or not, was that the state’s overall portion of the public education budget eventually fell below 40 percent.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 22, 2021      3:05 PM

Rep. Lyle Larson files bill to create rape and incest exception under SB8

He is asking Abbott to add the issue to the call

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September 22, 2021      11:19 AM

Chair Paddie will not seek reelection to the Texas House

"As the House begins working through the process of redistricting, I have decided that the timing is right to spend more time with my family and allow my East Texas colleagues to spend time fighting for our values instead of having to make some of the tough choices required in the redistricting process."

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September 22, 2021      8:21 AM

Rep. Celia Israel will not seek reelection to the Texas House, forms exploratory committee for Mayor of Austin

"To be clear, my commitment to this exploratory effort means I will not be seeking re-election to my seat in the Texas House. I have shared this privately with my colleagues in the Travis County delegation — carpenters, all of them! — and appreciate their friendship over the years more than words can express," Israel said in an email to supporters

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September 21, 2021      3:15 PM

Senate Sunset Commission appointments unveiled by Lt. Gov. Patrick

Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, as chair, Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury and Sen. Drew Springer, R-Muenster. Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, will continue to serve in his term that expires in 2023. Jim Lee, of Houston, is the new public member appointee.

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September 21, 2021      3:00 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick and former Gov. Perry endorse former Sen. Pete Flores for the proposed SD24 seat

Flores "instantly earned the trust and admiration of his fellow members. A unique blend of common sense and hard work makes him highly effective,” said Patrick. Perry said “I’ve known Pete Flores for nearly 20 years. He is a man of unquestioned integrity and someone you can always depend upon."

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September 21, 2021      10:12 AM

Former Sen. Carona decides against running in the proposed Senate District 24

“I’ve received some interesting calls over the last 72 hours about the possibility of my running for SD 12, but I've decided against it. My business has simply grown to a point where I cannot step away. Plus, candidly, I would not wish to contribute my own money to a campaign wherein my biggest opponents would be certain divisive factions within the Republican Party," Carona told QR

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September 20, 2021      5:19 PM

HK: To beat an increasingly unpopular Abbott, Beto would have to demonstrate discipline he has previously eschewed

Beto’s vulnerabilities have perhaps begun to pale as general election voters confront Abbott and Texas’ new abortion ban, permitless carry of handguns, and covid policy

OK, let’s be blunt. Young Democrats suffer the vapors over the prospect of a Beto gubernatorial run. Republicans understand that his first two forays into the big show revealed a flawed, hubris-driven candidate who arrived ill-prepared and squandered every advantage he should have enjoyed.

The cult of Beto got so out of control that he block-walked for a Democrat (anyone remember her name?) in a special election against Rep. Gary Gates in a Texas House race and is ironically credited with helping to drive up GOP turnout and widen Gates’ predictable margin of victory. It was a heavily Republican district to begin with in Fort Bend.

As soon as the former congressman tried to help the Democrat in that race, he became the story rather than the candidate.

But the substantive failure during O’Rourke’s own campaigns was that it drowned out legitimately good advice from people who had won victories for Democrats decades ago in this state. Some have argued he engineered his own defeat at the hands of Ted Cruz – some would say single-handedly – which is why Gov. Abbott’s consultant Dave Carney relishes the prospect of this contest.

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By Harvey Kronberg

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September 20, 2021      3:04 PM

Representatives Leach and Moody ask Gov. Abbott to add criminal justice reform item to special session agenda

In asking for “second look” legislation to be added, Leach and Moody say they’re ready to address concerns previously raised by Abbott in his veto message. “Since the bill is aimed at rightsizing penalties and promoting rehabilitation for people locked up since an early age, time is literally ticking away for them, day by day and year by year, as we work on these technical fixes.”

Here’s the letter to Gov. Greg Abbott from Representatives Joe Moody and Jeff Leaf.

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September 20, 2021      10:22 AM

Emboldened by proposed Texas Senate map, former Sen. Pete Flores launches comeback campaign for SD 24

“When the new redistricting lines were released on Saturday afternoon, it didn’t take long for the phone to start ringing," Flores said

Here is the announcement in full.

Flores also quickly unveiled the endorsement of Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway. That’s here.

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September 19, 2021      1:29 PM

Rep. Scott Sanford will not seek reelection

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September 18, 2021      4:28 PM

Proposed Texas Senate map draws out one Democrat: Sen. Powell in Fort Worth

It also changes Sen. Johnson's district to a minority opportunity district, so expect a primary challenge if this maps holds

The proposed map can be downloaded here.

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September 17, 2021      1:03 PM

People on the Move

Staffer moves, agency hires, and more

Well, it’s for real now: the Texas Legislature Online has activated the dropdown for 87(3).

Folks have been trying to maximize the relative calm this week at the building. Though, it’s worth mentioning the news cycle has been furious enough that Texas saw a hurricane move through Houston and the Coastal Bend this week and it’s already largely been forgotten as abortion, immigration, coronavirus, and more suck up all the oxygen in the room. It’s exhausting.

Meantime there are career moves to tell you about as some staff move out of the building, either to join campaigns or other ventures, and agencies make big hiring announcements. You know the drill by now. Feel free to share career news with the Texas Capitol community anytime by sending it to ksbraddock@gmail.com. If you use POTM in the subject line, it magically floats to the top of my inbox. Promise.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 16, 2021      8:15 AM

Rep. Matt Krause enters the crowded GOP primary for Texas Attorney General

Among other things, Krause tells DFW radio host Mark Davis that Paxton's personal legal problems are a risk that Republicans can't take in the general election: "There would be that cloud there if he's the nominee"

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