Colorado's Democrat-led House is debating a $26.8 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 with little leeway for substantial changes.
Once a budget's passed, the House and the Senate will have to work on the final version of the state spending plan. Although both chambers are keeping a tight lid on spending at a time when tax collections are coming in slow even as the demand for services grows larger.
The Texas House on Thursday voted by more than 2-to-1 to ban use of state funds for school vouchers "or any similar scheme".
House Democrats meet before debate on the budget long bill, April 6, 2017. The major difference between the two budgets bills is that the House's proposal would dip into the state's rainy day fund.
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"The house also voted to put and take, which means any amendment that spends money, the author of that amendment has to find that same amount of money elsewhere that they can strip out of the budget".
"Over 400 amendments were pre-filed and will be debated", he said.
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This week, the White House announced that Bannon had been removed from the National Security Council by President Donald Trump . Gary Cohn, the president's economic adviser and former No. 2 at Goldman Sachs, is on the list as well, according to the site.
The House's budget proposal is set to go to vote Thursday but members think heated debates on some hot button issues will continue on into the early morning Friday. Lawmakers there voted to strip $43 million from the governor's Texas Enterprise Fund, the "deal-closing" fund the state uses to lure businesses from elsewhere, and divide it into two equal pots: one for Child Protective Services and foster care funding, the other for a program that pays for disabled children's physical, occupational and speech therapy services.
Planned Parenthood received $3.6 million in 2016 as a Texas Medicaid health care provider, about $360,000 of which was state money, with the rest coming from the federal government.
Republicans revisited other issues through the budget bill, such as defunding any state public universities that engage in the trafficking of "aborted baby body parts", a reference to the 2015 controversy over debunked videos that allegedly showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of body parts.
- Republican proposals to eliminate Colorado's driver's license program for immigrants living here illegally; end Medicaid eligibility for adults without dependent children to send more money to rural schools and hospitals; and eliminate almost $14 million for student tests in public schools. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, gave an impassioned speech that prompted a large number of members to vacate the chamber as he accused House leadership of trying to hide a politically hard vote on the Enterprise Fund.
The vote underscores the sharp division between the House and Senate in this legislative session, as personified in the leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, an ardent supporter of school vouchers, and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. In last year's session some $350 million was cut to the program. He voted for the amendment blocking money to the tuition subsidy programs.
Not all 402 amendments will be taken up.