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Updated: Sunday, 15 May 2011, 11:28 AM CDT
Published : Sunday, 15 May 2011, 8:30 AM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - On this edition of Session '11, House Appropriations Vice Chairman Sylvester Turner , D-Houston, takes us inside ongoing budget negotiations among the HB 1 conference committee. Also, Jay Root of the Texas Tribune participates in the onpolitix Panel.
Rep. Sylvester Turner: "Until DPS goes wherever they need to go to bring all members back to the Texas house of Representatives and that the doors be locked."
Last week, it was his heated exchange on the House floor. This week, it's the beginnings of the budget conference committee.
Turner: "Games are being played. When you know at the end of the day, irrespective of the debate or amendments or points of orders, you are going to have these bills."
House Appropriations Vice Chairman Sylvester Turner takes us inside the budget negotiations at the Capitol. Fifteen days left for lawmakers to wrap everything up -- but will they have to return this summer? It's all coming up on Session 11.
"From KXAN Austin News, this is Session 11. Live interactive breakdowns, insights, interviews, and our weekly roundtable discussion. You're watching Session 11 on KXAN Austin News."
Good morning. I'm Robert Hadlock. Thanks for joining us on Session 11. It's the final stretch at the Capitol -- and so many crucial pieces of legislation are left in limbo right now. First up, the budget conference committee. House and Senate appointees have already started hammering out details and are hopeful their compromise will wrap up in these last few weeks -- without a special session. But, one this that could force lawmakers to come back -- possibly in July, according to insiders -- is school finance. But one thing that must be finished before the end of May is a Senate Redistricting map. It's getting a last glance from the committee now and should hit the floor within days.
Sen. Kel Seliger: "As you populate the districts and meet the requirements of the Voting Rights Act and other actions, you kind of distribitire people where it best works."
Right now, our political reporter, "Josh Hinkle", tells you how to interact with us this morning on our program. Josh?
Thanks, Robert. First, we've got a great onpolitix Panel lined up today with Jay Root, the newest addition at the Texas Tribune. You can take part in our round table this morning by logging onto kxan.com. While you're there, click on the onpolitix tab at the top. You'll go straight to our special political site, where you can check out my latest blog posts. Plus, click the blue bar at the top to chat with us. Our panel will field your questions later in the program. Robert?
Thanks, Josh. Our newsmaker this morning is in the budget trenches for the rest of the session as one of two Democrats looking for a compromise on the HB 1 conference committee. Houston Representative Sylvester Turner is also the vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Josh sat down with him at the Capitol to talk about the final steps of the budget process.
THE PRODUCT THAT COMES FROM
THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE WILL
STILL CAUSE THOUSANDS OF
TEACHERS TO BE LAID OFF,
THOUSANDS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL
EMPLOYEES TO BE LAID OFF.
THE FORMULA FUNDING FOR
EDUCATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS
GOING TO BE WOEFULLY INADEQUATE.
WE'LL USE THE ARTICLE TWO
MEDICAID AS A CREDIT CARD TO
FUND EVERYTHING ELSE, WHICH
MEANS THE NEXT TIME WE SHOW UP,
THAT WILL BE AN EMERGENCY
SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION BILL
OF UP TO $5 BILLION JUST IN
ARTICLE TWO, HEALTH SERVICES
FOR PEOPLE WHO FAVOR OPPOSING TO
DEFICIT SPENDING, DON'T WANT TO
USE THE RAINY DAY FUND, WE ARE
USING ARTICLE TWO, THE HEALTH
CARE ARTICLE AS A RAINY DAY
CREDIT CARD TO PAY FOR SOME OF
THE OTHER STUFF.
NOW, HOW CAN THAT BE?
THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY QUICK
I THINK THE JURY'S STILL OUT
WHETHER WE ALL FINISH, WHETHER
WE WILL IN FACT FINISH DURING
THE REGULAR SESSION.
THE SCHOOL FINANCING PLAN IS UP
IN THE AIR.
IN THE ABSENCE OF A SCHOOL --
BECAUSE WE ARE NOT SPENDING WHAT
WE NEED FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION, WE
ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE THE
WAY, THE FORMULA TO GIVE TO
DISTRICTS, WHICH MEANS WE HAVE
TO REDUCE THE FUNDING MECHANISM.
WHEN YOU REDUCE THE FUNDING 3
MECHANISM JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE
CHOSEN NOT TO SPEND WHAT WE NEED
TO SPEND, THE QUALITY OF
EDUCATION I BELIEVE WILL BE
ADVERSELY AFFECTED, AND NOT JUST
FOR THE PEOPLE IN OUR SCHOOLS
TODAY, BUT THE KIDS WHO WILL BE
ENTERING OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR
YEARS TO COME.
IN MY VIEW, IT IS A HOSTILE
ATTACK ON PUBLIC EDUCATION AND
THE SCHOOL CHILDREN OF THE STATE
PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO
LEAVE THE SESSION, HIT THE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL, AND ARGUE THAT
EDUCATION IS A TOP PRIORITY.
I THINK YOU WILL SEE IN THIS
BUDGET THAT IT IS NOT.
WE ARE COMPROMISING THE
EDUCATIONAL QUALITY OF OUR
CHILDREN AND IT'S GOING TO
IMPACT US DOWN THE ROAD IN TERMS
OF GETTING THEM READY TO GO TO
COLLEGE, IN TERMS OF A
WELL-EDUCATED WORK FORCE IN
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND IN HIGHER
WE ARE NOT JUST TRIMMING THE
BUDGET, WE ARE CUTTING LITERALLY
AT THE CORE.
ON THE HEALTH CARE SIDE, WE'LL
PROBABLY END UP ADDRESSING THE
NURSING HOMES AT THE EXPENSE OF
EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE HEALTH
CARE ARENA, SO THE INFRAINSTRUCT
U. IS BEING PLOWED UP AND NOW WE
WILL BE LEEING ANYWHERE BETWEEN
I WOULD SAY BETWEEN $9 BILLION
TO $10 BILLION IN THE ACCOUNT IN
THE RAINY DAY FUND.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE
I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW YOU DO
PEOPLE SAY THAT PEOPLE IN THE
STATE OF TEXAS WANT SMALLER
THEY WILL HAVE SMALLER
PEOPLE WANT US TO SPEND FEWER 4
WE WILL SPEND FEWER DOLLARS, BUT
THE COST WILL, I BELIEVE FAR
EXCEED WHAT TEXANS ARE ASKING
AT THE SAME TIME, WE WILL
PROTECT COMPANIES AND THEIR
THE FRANCHISE TAX HAS
UNDERPERFORMED SINCE PUT IN
PLACE IN 2006, WE ARE NOT
THERE'S RESISTANCE TO SPEEDING
UP COLLECTION OF THE FRANCHISE
TAX BECAUSE PEOPLE SAY IT'S
GOING TO HURT BUSINESSES.
I DON'T THINK WE'LL DO THAT.
PEOPLE HAVE NO PROBLEMS LAYING
OFF QUALIFIED AND CAPABLE
TEACHERS, FURLOUGHING TEACHERS,
INCREASING THE CLASS SIZE
IRRESPECTIVE OF THE IMPACT ON
THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION FOR OUR
THEY DON'T HAVE ANY PROBLEMS
WITH REDUCING PROVIDER RATES,
MAKING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE FOR
OUR CHILDREN WORSE THAN WHAT IT
>> WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE MAKEUP
OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE, IT
SEEMS WE'VE GOT HEALTH CARE
LEADERS WITH REPRESENTATIVES,
BUT WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION
ITEMS, REPRESENTATIVE HOFBERG OR
>> THAT'S DISAPPOINTING.
WHETHER REPUBLICAN OR
DEMOCRATIC, THEY ARE ELUDING
REPRESENTATION WHEN IT COMES TO
I THINK THE RESPONSE IS THE
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
GAVE US A MAJORITY AND PUT IT IN
THE HANDS OF THE REPUBLICANS.
AS A RESULT OF THAT, MOST OF
YOUR MEMBERS SHOULD BE
I JUST DON'T BELIEVE DEALING IN
A BUDGETARY CRISIS YOU NEED 5
THOSE WHO ARE LESS CAPABLE
ADDRESSING IT AT FRONT AND
I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR
I KNOW WHERE HIS HEART IS ON
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, BUT
EVEN HE CAN ONLY WORK WITH
WHAT'S BEFORE HIM.
I KNOW HE'LL DO THE VERY BEST HE
CAN, IN TRYING TO MEETING CORE
NEEDS, BUT ALL OF US, YOU KNOW,
WHETHER WE'VE GOT THE BEST ON
THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE OR NOT,
THE 10 OF US WILL BE CONSTRAINED
BY THE DOLLARS THAT HAVE BEEN
MADE AVAILABLE FOR US TO WORK
UNFORTUNATELY, THE LEADERSHIP,
THE GOVERNOR, LT. GOVERNOR,
SPEAKER, THE LEADERSHIP HAS
DECIDED THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO
WORK WITH THE RAINY DAY FUND, WE
ARE NOT GOING TO CORRECT THE
STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS THAT ARE
CREATING THE DEFICIT IN LARGE
WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT, AND
WE'RE ONLY GOING TO WORK TO
BALANCE THIS BUDGET THROUGH
REDUCTION AND SOME NON-TAX
REVENUE THAT AT THE END PROBABLY
WILL ONLY GENERATE ABOUT THREE
AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S NOT GIVING YOU MUCH TO
I HOPE THAT PEOPLE DON'T SAY OK,
LET'S WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE WILL
WHAT I AM SAYING TO LEADERS
ACROSS THIS STATE IS THAT TAKE A
LOOK AT THE SENATE'S BILL.
IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, IF YOU
DON'T THINK IT'S ENOUGH, IT'S
NOT GOING TO GET ANY BETTER AND
THIS CONFERENCE COMMITTEE, IN
FACT, THERE WILL BE A COMPROMISE
BETWEEN THE TWO. 6
IF YOU LOOK AT THE HOUSE BILL
AND YOU DON'T LIKE IT, WE WILL
PROBABLY ADD $3.5 BILLION TO IT,
BUT THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO
I'm sure Representative Turner and his colleagues have wondered the same thing we ask in this morning's onpolitix Poll: Can the conference committee solve the state budget without a special session? Log on to kxan.com and answer our onpolitix Poll. We'll see what you have to say at the end of the program.
Speaker: "House Bill 335 has finally passed."
Speaker: "House Bill 1994 has finally passed."
Speaker: "House Bill 748 has finally passed."
Lawmakers working until the clock strikes midnight. Coming up, Session 11 rushes to squeeze everything in before it's too late.
Welcome back to Session 11. Lawmakers burned the midnight oil this week. Bills had to hit the House floor for at least the first time by midnight Thursday or they died. Some of the big ones we've been tracking... HB 400 -- the one that would raise class sizes and let districts control teachers' salary schedules. It didn't make it through, but the author says we haven't seen the last of it. HB 9 -- the bill that would give universities funding based on student success instead of enrollment. It got final approval and is now on its way to the Senate Higher Education Committee. And a string of fiscal matters bills -- the ones that would pump about four billion dollars back into the struggling budget. They didn't make it through either, but the author is hopeful the Senate will pass near identical versions. Josh joins us now. You were there for the entire 12-hour push.
Yes, and it was very tense toward the end of the evening. There were
about 160 bills that needed to meet this deadline to stay afloat. When it was all said and done, lawmakers didn't even get to half of them.
"Is this the last day for House bills to be heard?"
From morning to midnight...
"Let's say a man out there on the streets gets a prostitute."
Members mulled over more than 160 bills.
"What we're actually talking about is trying to take pimps off the streets."
A moment on the floor was their last chance to stay alive.
"We heeled his bill. I heeled it. I heeled it!"
"Could you heel the rest of the bills on the calendar, Mr. Hamilton?"
As the day dragged on, so did the delays.
Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands: "Are they there to debate the bill? Or are they there to kill the calendar?"
Some were stall tactics to keep bills from coming up.
Others turned into the late night and loopy lawmakers.
"And the second reason is because of Mr. Hooter. Representative Hooters."
From prostitutes, to cockfighting, to airport body scans...
"House Bill 1937 is finally passed to the third reading. (Yeah, baby!)"
"I'm having difficulty hearing. Could we have order please? (Could we have order please?)"
The bills began to rush through at the last minute.
"House Bill 2103 is passed to third reading."
"House Bill 1994 has finally passed."
"House Bill 2990 is finally passed."
Tired lawmakers had exhausted their efforts for the day.
Rep. Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton, R-Mauriceville: "Unfortunately, we've run out of time on this side."
Four months into the session, this is proof every minute matters.
“Would you accept a motion to operate under El Paso time? (No! No!)"
And with only 18 days to go, it's clear a lot of would-be laws will be forgotten or left for the future.
That means lawmakers might resurrect some of these pieces of legislation in a future session. But there is the possibility of tacking a House bill on as an amendment to a Senate bill this session. Or the House could suspend its rules to take up a bill after this deadline. And of course, a special session for some of the more important, unfinished business. If you have something to say, join us online. Our onpolitix Panel is standing by to field your questions. Just go to onpolitix.com and chat with us here on Session 11.
Welcome back to Session 11. For an inside look at that challenge and what's happening at the Capitol, we turn to our onpolitix Panel. Jay Root is settling in nicely to his new gig at the Texas Tribune. Our "Josh Hinkle" also joins the panel to field your online chat questions. Welcome.
AS WE ENTER THE FINAL TWO WEEKS,
THE REPUBLICANS HAVE THE VOTES 8
AND CONTINUE TO STEAM ROLL THE
LOOKS LIKE SOME OF THE FRICTION
IS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE IN
TERMS OF HOW MUCH WE SHOULD
FIGHT TO GET SOME THINGS IN THE
BUDGET THAT CONSTITUENTS SAY
>> I THINK THIS IS MORE OF A
HOUSE-SENATE FIGHT THAN A
I THINK ANOTHER DEFINING
CHARACTERISTIC OF THIS SESSION
IS RICK PERRY IS AT THE HEIGHT
OF HIS INFLUENCE PARTICULARLY ON
THE RAINY DAY FUND.
HE SAID DON'T TAP INTO THAT
ACCOUNT OR ONGOING EXPENSES, AND
IT'S CHANGED THE DEBATE.
>> I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT.
WE'VE HEARD JIM TALK ABOUT THAT
INFLUENCE THAT THE GOVERNOR
MIGHT, STEVE OGDEN THAT HINTED
THE GOVERNOR'S INFLUENCE IS MORE
IN THE HOUSE THAN THE SENATE.
IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE
THAT PLAY OUT.
>> I'VE SEEN SESSIONS WHERE
GOVERNORS HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY
DISRESPECTED WHERE THEY'RE
AGENDA, WHERE THEY DIDN'T PAY
ATTENTION TO THE GOVERNOR UNTIL
IT WAS TIME FOR THE GOVERNOR TO
SIGN THE BILLS, BUT I THINK
GOVERNOR RICK PERRY HAD AN
INFLUENCE AT THE BEGINNING OF
THE SESSION ON THE RAINY DAY
FUND IN A WAY THAT I HAVEN'T
>> I GUESS IT'S A CONCEPT THAT
PEOPLE CAN REALLY UNDERSTAND
THAT PEOPLE NEED A SAVINGS
ACCOUNT IN CASE THINGS GO BAD,
BUT A LOT OF DEMOCRATS AND SOME
REPUBLICANS SAY THINGS ARE BAD
>> YEAH, ONE OF THE THINGS YOU
HEAR AROUND THE CAPITOL ALL THE
TIME IS IT'S RAINING, IT'S
ALSO, THE RAINY DAY FUND HAS
BEEN TAPPED REPEATEDLY IN THE
IN 2003, THEY DRAINED IT TO PAY
FOR WHAT THEN WAS A VERY
SIGNIFICANT BUDGET CRISIS, SO A
LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WONDERING WHY
NOW, WHY CAN'T WE DO IT NOW THAT
WE'RE REALLY IN A SERIOUS
I'M NOT SURE I KNOW THE ANSWER
>> YOU CALLED IT A SAVINGS
ACCOUNT, BUT THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY
WHAT IT IS, IT'S THE ECONOMIC
IT IS BEING TREATED RIGHT NOW BY
GOVERNOR PERRY AND REPUBLICANS
LIKE A SAVINGS ACCOUNT.
YOU ASK THE DEMOCRATS, THE
PURPOSE FOR IT IS RIGHT NOW WHEN
THE STATE'S FINANCIAL SYSTEM
COULD USE IT.
>> HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS IS PART OF
THIS ARGUMENT FOR NOT SPENDING
THE RAINY DAY FUND?
>> I'M NOT CONVINCED AT ALL THAT
GOVERNOR RICK PERRY IS RUNNING
I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK HE
HE HAS SAID REPEATEDLY THAT HE'S
I DO THINK, THOUGH, THAT THE
CONSERVATIVE SORT OF I DON'T
KNOW IF YOU
WANT TO CALL IT
GRASS ROOTS, BUT THE
CONSERVATIVE ACTIVISTS LIKE
TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION
AND POWER TEXAS, THOSE GROUPS
HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY INFLUENTIAL.
PERRY IS VERY CLOSE TO THEM.
THEY HAVE NOT WAVERED FROM THE
FISCAL AUSTERITY FROM THE VERY
THIS IS LIKE FINAL EXAM TIME,
THIS IS 40% OF THE GRADE.
WE'LL FIND OUT SOON WHAT THAT IS
IN TERMS OF WHETHER OR NOT WE 10
ARE GOING TO GO INTO THE SPECIAL
>> LET ME GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON
HOW THE DEMOCRATS ARE COPING
WITH THEIR SMALL NUMBERS RIGHT
>> I THINK THE DEMOCRATS HAVE
BEEN COMPLETELY STEAMROLLED,
PARTICULARLY IN THE HOUSE.
THERE ARE 49 DEMOCRATS IN THE
THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE ENOUGH
PEOPLE TO BLOCK A QUORUM.
A FEW YEARS AGO, THEY LEFT THE
STATE, WENT TO ALBUQUERQUE AND
DENIED A QUORUM SO THAT THE
HOUSE COULD NOT TRANSACT
NOW, THEY HAVE SO FEW PEOPLE,
THAT THEY COULD WALK OUT RIGHT
NOW EN MASSE, EVERY SINGLE ONE
OF THEM AND THE REPUBLICANS
COULD DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED.
THEY COULD PASS A CONSTITUTIONAL
AMENDMENT WITHOUT THE DEMOCRATS
EVEN BEING THERE.
I DO THINK IN THE SENATE THEY'VE
HAD MUCH MORE OF A ROLE.
THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BLOCK
I THINK AS YOU SEE GOING
FORWARD, HOUSE BILL 12, THE
SO-CALLED SANCTUARY CITIES BILL
THAT SAY RANK AND FILE OFFICERS
COULD NOT ASK FOR IMMIGRATION
STATUS HAS VERY LITTLE
THEY GOT ROLLED ON THE BUDGET,
AND I THINK NOW THEY ARE GOING
TO DO WHATEVER THEY CAN TO USE
THE RULES IN EFFECT WHICH GIVE
THE MINORITY PARTY MORE POWER,
THEY'RE GOING TO USE THAT AS
MUCH AS THEY CAN GOING FORWARD,
>> I THINK YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT.
IT'S ONLY A SUPER MAJORITY IF
YOU USE IT AS A SUPER MAJORITY.
WHEN THEY DID THE FIRST
EMERGENCY TORT REFORM AND 11
EVERYONE WE HEARD SAYING LOCK
THE DOORS, ROUND EVERYONE UP, HE
WAS TALKING ABOUT EVERYONE.
THERE ARE 42 REPUBLICANS WHO
WEREN'T THERE AT ONE TIME AND
WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EASY TO NOT
HAVE A QUORUM.
IF THEY WANT TO USE THAT SUPER
MAJORITY, THEY NEED TO HAVE
EVERYONE INVOLVED FOR IT.
>> SENATOR KIRK WATSON WAS
STUNNED WHEN ONE OF THE STATE
REDISTRICTING MAPS CAME OUT AND
ONE DISTRICT SPLIT INTO FOUR,
ONE LOOKS LIKE A VACANT STRIP
GOING DOWN TO THE VALLEY.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE SENATE
REDISTRICTING MAP GOING?
>> IT CAME OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH
ONLY ONE NO-VOTE.
THE TRADITION IS THAT, I MEAN,
IF THE SENATE CAN GET THEIR OWN
MAP OUT, THEN THE HOUSE WOULD
PASS THE SENATE MAP OUT AND THE
HOUSE WOULD PASS THE SENATE MAP
THEY LOOK ACROSS THE DOORS AND
OPEN THE ROTUNDA AND MAKE SURE
EACH PASSES THEIR OWN BILL.
IT'S STUNNING HOW LITTLE THEY
CARE ABOUT SENATE REDIRECTING.
THE EYES OF THE NATION IN TERMS
OF REDISTRICTING, CERTAINLY THE
REPUBLICAN PARTY IS LOOKING TO
TEXAS, THE LARGEST REPUBLICAN
DELEGATION IN THE UNITED STATES
CONGRESS, AND THESE CONGRESSMAN
WALK AROUND HERE BIG MAN ON
CAMPUS, BUT THEY ARE NOT IN THE
THEY'RE GOING TO PASS THE HOUSE
MAP, THE STATEHOUSE MAP AND THE
STATE SENATE MAP, AND THEY MIGHT
GET TO CONGRESSIONAL
I WOULD SAY CHANCES ARE IT'S NOT
GOING TO GET A CONGRESSIONAL
REDISTRICTING, WHICH IS PRETTY
>> JUST YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE 12
>> IF I WERE A BETTING MAN, I
WOULD BET A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY
THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ONE,
BUT I WOULDN'T BET A LOT OF
YOU DO HAVE THIS PRESSURE AT THE
END TO GET THINGS DONE, AND THAT
PRESSURE CAN BE SIGNIFICANT WHEN
PEOPLE START REALIZING OH MY
GOD, WE'RE GOING TO BE HERE IN
THE SUMMER, LETS GET THIS DONE.
THERE'S A CHANCE THEY'LL GET IT
DONE, BUT IT'S LOT TO GET DONE
IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
>> NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
Rep. Sylvester Turner: "Lock the rest of us in in order to work against our perceived best interest. Is that not crazy? I mean, you're going to lock me in to work to my demise? Is that not crazy?
Republicans invoking their supermajority power more and more as the Session winds down. Check out what else our newsmaker Representative Sylvester Turner has to say about that. We have his entire interview streamed online now at kxan.com. While you're there, click the onpolitix tab at the top.and head straight to our special political site, where you can find past Session 11 episodes, plus my blog about the "The 10 Lawmakers to Negotiate the State's Budget " Also, this morning, our poll: Can the conference committee solve the state budget without a special session? 67 percent said "No." Robert?
Students at Stony Point High School are taking the pledge to X the Text! We stopped by during a pep rally Thursday, encouraging students to put the phone down while in the car. Meantime texting while driving could soon be prohibited statewide. HB 243 has passed the House on a vote of 107 to 16. Tomorrow there will be a public hearing in the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee. Meantime here at KXAN the effort
continues to get teenagers to break the habit. This Thursday, X the Text will head to Austin High School. Austin News Today will be there broadcasting live - from five to seven a.m. Join "David Scott" for our next newscast on KXAN tonight at ten after an all new edition of Celebrity Apprentice. Up next Meet the Press with guest - former House Speaker "Newt Gingrich."
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