2009 Texas Legislature: Winners and losers

2009 Texas Legislature: Winners and losers

Postby Administrator on Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:58 am

2009 Texas Legislature: Winners and losers

12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Emily Ramshaw and Christy Hoppe

It was a legislative session without big winners. But if there's any consolation, it's that everybody lost something. Voter identification was lost. A transportation agency overhaul, including North Texas' big gas-tax priority, was lost. And during the five-day chubfest, a lot of time we'll never get back was lost. But even the biggest losers can find a silver lining:


Teenagers

What they lost: Grounded. They can't use a cellphone or text behind the wheel. They have to take real-live road tests to get their driver's licenses. And they can't jump into the tanning bed unless they're 16 ½ and have a parent with them. Could life be any more unfair?

What they won: Just-above-average high school students will have a better chance of partying at the University of Texas at Austin, now that the top 10 percent rule has been scaled back.


Homebuilders

What they lost: The Texas Residential Construction Commission, long considered a protector of homebuilders' interests, is dead, after lawmakers failed to extend its lifespan. Homebuilder Bob Perry can't be happy, and neither can the lawmakers who count on his campaign contributions. Not even millions can buy love.

What they won: Thanks to a last-minute amendment, cities can no longer force homebuilders to install fire safety sprinklers in new homes.


Tobacco lovers

What they lost: Companies that sell low-budget smokeless tobacco will be dipping into their coffers to pay higher taxes, money that will relieve rural doctors' student loan debt.

What they won: They stubbed out a proposed statewide smoking ban, sticking it to the movement's celebrity advocate, Lance Armstrong.


Gamblers

What they lost: Lawmakers were forced to fold on resort casinos, racetrack slot machines and legalized Texas Hold 'Em. And Indian reservation gaming got even less traction than it did two years ago.

What they won: BINGO! A bill awaiting the governor's signature would ease restrictions on operators of the charitable game. Lawmakers also approved a study on the future of gambling in Texas.


Green energy ADVOCATES

What they lost: Lawmakers failed to pass bills setting new energy efficiency standards and providing incentives for solar power.

What they won: A measure creating green building standards for state offices and schools squeaked in under the wire.

......

Emily Ramshaw

and Christy Hoppe


Dallas Morning News
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