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January 23, 2019      5:17 PM

Budget discussions begin in earnest in the Texas Senate

TRS-Care and Harvey recovery front and center as well as economic impacts of the federal government shutdown

Texas Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has started the work of the budget immediately, promising wall-to-wall meetings and work groups through the end of February.

Yesterday laid out the protocol: Daily meetings. Fridays for overflow. Article I started immediately after the session’s supplemental bill was covered.

This is not new for most members of Senate Finance.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 23, 2019      3:32 PM

Updated: Speaker Bonnen releases Texas House committee assignments

"After thoughtful consideration, these committee assignments have been made to reflect the seniority and personal preferences of Members and the diverse demographics of the Texas House.”

Editor’s note: The full list of assignments is available to subscribers at the end of this story – SB

As expected, Speaker Dennis Bonnen on Wednesday unveiled the Texas House committee assignments for this session.

Before doing so, Bonnen said he did not “care what the narrative is in the blogosphere after these are announced.” Bonnen said that he and his team worked hard to put everyone in the right place but conceded “It's an impossibility to get it right.” He appointed his good friend Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, as Speaker Pro Tem.

"We will all work together," Bonnen said.

Here are some of the key committee chairmanships as announced this morning:

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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January 23, 2019      3:25 PM

Patrick appoints Sen. Hall as Chair of Ag Committee

This after he stripped Sen. Seliger of the chairmanship earlier in the week

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January 22, 2019      5:06 PM

Updated: Sen. Seliger stripped of Ag Chairmanship

Patrick pulled the assignment after a weekend of bitter words between Sen. Seliger and Patrick’s senior adviser Sherry Sylvester

Editor’s note: This developing story has been updated throughout – SB

Frustrations between Chairman Kel Seliger and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick boiled over on Tuesday in dramatic fashion as the Texas Senate’s presiding officer curtly denied the Amarillo Republican entrance to a meeting of other GOP senators then took away the chairmanship the senior member had left.

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By Scott Braddock

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January 22, 2019      5:04 PM

Sounds like House committee assignments are coming out tomorrow

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January 22, 2019      5:03 PM

UT System shuttering federal relations office in DC

Bill Shute, who heads it up, says "The new chancellor has decided to reduce the System’s engagement with the federal government"

The UT System is closing its Office of Federal Relations in Washington as of May 1.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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January 22, 2019      2:00 PM

HK: Kremlin watching and the Senate Committee assignments

Seliger’s outsized influence, heavy lifters and a Legislature that is ultimately transactional

Parsing committee assignments is a little like Kremlin watching – particularly in the Texas Senate with only thirty-one Senators and sixteen committees.

Of course, of those sixteen committees only a handful are workhorse, but it does provide a little insight into the team the Lt. Governor is trying to weave and lays some predicates for the session to come.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Harvey Kronberg

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January 22, 2019      1:12 PM

Patrick denies Chair Seliger entrance to a meeting of GOP senators

Just off the Senate floor, Patrick told Seliger that he had not invited him to the meeting and he would meet with him separately later, per Houston Chronicle reporter Jeremy Wallace. This comes after harsh words were exchanged between Seliger and Patrick adviser Sherry Sylvester over committee assignments. Developing….

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