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Texas Take

Apr 28, 2017

Unpleasantness was the order of the day as the Texas House passed Senate Bill 6, the controversial legislation to ban sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State.

Democrats opposed to the bill angrily argued with Republicans who supported it, like two wildcats in a sack, amid charges of racism and immigrant bashing.

Now that the House has approved the measure, the bets are on whether the Senate, which approved a tougher version of the legislation earlier this year, will agree with the House amendments -- or ask for a meeting to negotiate a compromise.

After the so-called Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, showed up at the State Capital for quick meetings with Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick seeking a change in state law to exempt his companies from a long-standing ban on auto manufacturers also selling vehicles in Texas, the bill shot through a Senate committee and headed to the full Senate for a vote.

Then, engine-manufacturer Cummins moved to get its own exemption, but the process seemed to slow down considerably -- and some lawmakers began questioning whether anybody needed a way around the current law.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pushed ahead to champion charter schools as a bill that would give them access to state-backed facilities money moved through the upper legislative chamber, despite continuing opposition from public school advocates.

A pensions-reform bill to fix mounting fiscal problems for first responders' nest eggs in Houston hit a bump in the road to fast passage and remained stalled, despite intense negotiations, after Houston Republican Paul Bettencourt offered an amendment that the city, police and firefighter groups didn't like.

Get the lowdown on all the fighting and 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.