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This is the inaugural edition of a Thursday series focusing on Texas politics with the aim of taking back our state. At our meet-up last Saturday, the Houston Area Kossacks decided to launch this series, and we hope that kossacks from around our state will join this effort to discuss Texas political news and to share information and strategies.

Texas House Debating Budget Today


Burnt Orange Report: Liveblog: Texas House Floor Debate on Budget
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?
Putting a Band Aid on a Bigger Problem: Assessing the House Budget
by Representative Mary González
Here in Texas we're facing a different horizon than we were two years ago. Last session, our state lawmakers were in a cost-cutting fervor that spared no one- hurting schools, women, and children in Texas. Despite having the opportunity to redo the wrongs from last session and fund necessary programs for millions of Texans, I have serious concerns about the budget I will be voting on today.
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Progress Texas: Rep. Lon Burnam Passes Amendment to Provide Guidance on Medicaid Expansion Update: Amendment withdrawn (details at link)

During debate on the Texas House floor over the budget, State Representative Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) passed an amendment that provides guidance for how the state could pursue Medicaid expansion. The amendment was passed with the help of Rep. John Zerwas, the House Republican who is the point-person for Medicaid in the Texas budget. [...]

Texas in the News


The Economist: Texas by numbers
[H]ere are some numbers that jumped out. They suggest that (a) the Democrats face an uphill battle but (b) demography really is changing this state and (c) Team Obama are deadly serious about this endeavour. [...]

The second numbers [...] come from Steve Murdock, the former state demographer of Texas who now runs the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University. It is one thing to know that Hispanics recently overtook Anglos (non-Hispanic whites) as the largest single block in the population. It is another to hear Dr Murdock's projection for Texan children under five in 2040. At that date, he estimates that 69.9% of under-fives will be Hispanic, and 17% will be Anglo.

The last half of this piece discusses Battleground Texas' strategy for registering, persuading, and getting our voters to vote.
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Events


Battleground Texas Tour final dates:
April 4th: San Antonio
April 6th: Brownsville
April 6th: Houston
April 7th: Longview

Blue Ribbon Lobby Day


Texas women are organizing to lobby state senators and representatives next week at the capitol as well as at local congressional offices.
April 9th in Austin:
[A]s the 83rd Texas Legislative session has gotten underway, three key issues have become top priorities for Texas women.

Educating Texas children should be our state’s top priority. [...]

Pass Medicaid expansion and decrease the number of uninsured Texans. [...]

Restore funding for the Women’s Health Program and give Texas women access to essential healthcare. [...]


Week of April 8th at local offices:
We’re asking women across Texas to make appointments to visit their state representative and senators’ local district offices the week of April 8th. We’ll help you prepare for the meeting with organizational tips and a checklist. We’ll send you the print materials we’ll hand out out at the Capitol on April 9th. We’ll answer your questions and put you in touch with other women and men in your area who want to take action at home.
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Battleground Texas
Burnt Orange Report
Progress Texas
Texas Democratic Party
Texas Kaos
Who represents me? (Texas)
Comal County Democratic Party
Dallas County Democratic Party
Harris County Democratic Party

3:09 PM PT: From JayRaye in the comments:

good news for Comal Co Dems:

New bigger better office opening April 10. Having fiesta from 5P to 7P.

1592 West San Antonio in New Braunfels.

Gilberto Hinojosa will be there.

Also Donna Beth McCormick, Pres of TX Dem Women.

Should be fun. Come on over and join us!

3:51 PM PT: From doraphasia in the comments:

Banning School Vouchers

Progress Texas is reporting that Rep. Abel Herrero's amendment to ban school vouchers just passed with a vote of 103 to 40. This is good news for those of us worried about Perry's persistent attempts to privatize all levels of education in Texas.

Originally posted to nomandates on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Houston Area Kossacks, and TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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