Friday, May 1, 2009

81st Texas Legislature Enters Final Stretch

With a little more than 31 days left in the legislative session, much work remains.

The conference committee on Senate Bill 1, the general appropriations bill for the state’s operating budget, will begin meeting regularly on Monday, May 4 at 8 a.m. The Senate version of the state’s budget totaled $182.2 billion, and the House version totaled $177.4 billion. Much work will need to be done in order to reconcile the two versions.

Also, the Texas Department of Agriculture Sunset Bill is currently in the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock. Every state agency goes through the Sunset process to update programs and policies to properly serve the public. Most issues have been worked out, and all stakeholders appear supportive of the provisions in the Sunset bill. I have been working with the members of the House Ag Committee, and I look forward to it moving forward soon.

This 81st session has proven to be interesting. To date 7,144 bills have been introduced, but as of April 30, only 10 have been passed and sent to the Governor.

Stay tuned, the final month of the 81st Legislature should be full of excitement.

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