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Texas Take

Apr 7, 2017

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he wanted a House vote on "school choice," vouchers to opponents. He got one.

The result was an overwhelming smackdown of the concept that Patrick and the Senate tagged as a top priority.

As the House moved ahead to adopt its version of the state budget, a much different document than the one approved by the Senate, arguments quickly started over which chamber will win in the closed-door negotiations to come up with a final budget before the end of May.

Just as they don't agree on the budget, House and Senate leaders are also split on other issues, including the ban on so-called sanctuary cities. Patrick has made it clear he and the Senate want a tough bill with penalties against local officials who don't cooperate with federal immigration enforcers, and the House is much less adamant.

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat who's little known outside his home city of El Paso, announced he will run against incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. His chances in a solid Red State are open to debate, depending on which side of the political fence you're on.

And the clubby Senate opened up a bit to debate a bill regulating the number of chickens Texans can keep in their backyards, when Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, did his impression of cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn, during the debate.


Get the lowdown on all the chicken stuff and other political intrigue in Austin in this week's Texas Take -- the leading political podcast in the Lone Star State -- where you get the inside scoop on the Legislature in simple language every Texan can understand -- unvarnished straight talk, as they say.

You can't make up stuff this good.