AUSTIN (KXAN) – The divisive election season will come to an end on Tuesday. But what happens next? Texas lawmakers will have to find ways to create new policy in a tough environment.
On this week’s State of Texas: In-Depth, Dallas Morning News Austin Bureau Chief Brandi Grissom and Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey look at issues facing state lawmakers beyond election day.
Many lawmakers agree about the need for reform in agencies like Child Protective Services, but the budget forecast complicates efforts to find solutions. “Comptroller Glenn Hegar said you are not going to have as much money rolling in this time as you did last time,” Ramsey said.
Lawmakers will likely struggle over whether to tap into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. “It looks like a fairly contentious legislative session,” Ramsey said. “And it looks like a lot of things that they are going to be working on are things that they didn’t choose to work on, but that chose them.”
Some state leaders are choosing initiatives guaranteed to spark battles among lawmakers. “I think one of the things that is going to be overshadowing the legislative session is another sort of divisive issue that we are seeing on the national as well as the state level and that is transgender bathrooms,” Grissom said.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick promises to push the bill through the legislature. Grissom says he, and other state leaders, are looking ahead to 2018. “That is what they are doing is getting ready for the next election.”