Session Summary


POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 5:29pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 5:39pm

The 83rd session of the Texas Legislature is now done. And as they wrangle with redistricting, we look back on what they accomplished this year.
Compared to two years ago, there was less posturing, and fewer time-wasting arguments.

Not everything got done, but overall, a very productive session.

Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report says, it was a very different session this year.

"Both sides came away with enough trophies to feel like they got to participate."

On the budget, Governor Perry didn't get all the tax relief he sought, but the budget stayed within revenue projections and didn't resort to the kinds of bookkeeping tricks used two years ago to give the appearance of balance.

More charter schools and a simplified curriculum for high school were accomplished.

The Governor's pet project, a fixed-rate tuition package for universities was passed as well.

And a lot of the money lost in 2011 was restored.

On water, the money is there, but the voters have to approve with a constitutional amendment. Thus, the legislature set up the framework, but punted on the responsibility.

In transportation, frankly not much was done.

TxDOT was woefully underfunded and a collective case of the vapors erupted whenever the gas tax was mentioned.

"Transportation is a disappointment. We're going to have to deal with that at some point in the future. But we didn't get there in the regular session," says State Senator Kevin Eltife.

There will be a drug test for unemployment, no expansion of Medicaid, and nothing new on illegal immigration.

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