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The rookies learning curve

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 4:44pm

Republican control of the Texas House of Representatives is now more solid with a healthier majority.
But, the problems they face in the next session are huge.
 

Bill Clinton once joked that most elected officials get a honeymoon…but he got a honeyminute.
 

That may be how 22 newly elected Texas legislators feel today. We hope they got to celebrate last night because the upcoming session will not be fun
 

Start with the state budget, which is currently written in bright red ink.
 

The state’s two-year budget is around 182-billion dollars, and will come up short by nearly 25-billion.
 

The biggest chunk of the budget goes for education, public school and college. Next comes health and human services, business development, public safety and criminal justice, general government and natural resources.
 

Everyone says they can do it without raising taxes…at least not from Austin. Like the time college tuition was “deregulated.”
 

The other big issue is redistricting. After the census every ten years, political districts, state and federal, are redrawn to reflect population shifts.
 

Texas should gain at least 3 congressional seats, but East Texas growth has not largely kept up with the state as a whole, and that means in much of the region…we lose clout.
 

Add in voter ID, immigration and insurance reform and by the time this session is over, it may be a case of be careful what you wish for…
 

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