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This is the second edition of a Thursday series focusing on Texas politics with the aim of taking back our state. The Houston Area Kossacks hope that kossacks from around our state will join this effort to discuss Texas political news and to share information and strategies.

TX Senate Bill 140: FREE Our Tax Dollars

Progress Texas: My Tax Dollars Pay for WHAT?!?!
Progress Texas is proud to announce a new campaign to increase revenue in our state so we can better invest in our future. The campaign, which starts today and will likely last for years (more details below), is built around a simple idea: we need to create a process to FREE our tax dollars - Find, Review, and End Exemptions in our tax code that are no longer needed. [...]

We are urging our members - and their friends, families, and all Texans who care about investing in our future - to support a bipartisan bill, Senate Bill 140, by Senators Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and John Carona (R-Dallas), which would scrub the tax code. The Senators laid out the argument for this bill very well in an op-ed that was published across the state. The following is an excerpt from what ran in the Dallas Morning News, "A sunset review for state tax breaks" (January 27, 2013):

The Texas Tax Code contains numerous tax loopholes, many of which were inserted into the code in the distant past but live on long past the time the rationale for their existence has ended. Recent press reports estimate that, at a minimum, Texas spends $19 billion annually on these incentives. Yet despite this price tag, state agencies responsible for Texas’ finances are unable to provide a comprehensive list of tax preferences, much less detailed analyses. The sad fact is that the state agencies responsible for Texas’ finances are unable to determine exactly how many of your tax dollars are spent on tax loopholes, because no one even knows how many are in the tax code, how much they cost, or if they are even working.
There's much more at the links, so please read.


From Chrislove in the comments:
We might soon see LGBT advancement in Texas
in the form of SB 1316, which would amend the "Romeo and Juliet" to provide legal protection for sexually active gay teens. Under current law, gay teenagers who have sex with other gay teenagers are criminals, as the Romeo and Juliet law only applies to opposite-sex couples. The bill advanced out of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice 4-1. It would be the first piece of pro-LGBT legislation to pass in Texas since 2001, when Rick Perry reluctantly signed the gay-inclusive James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act.


To launch their efforts to turn Texas blue again, Battleground Texas toured 14 cities in 4 week. Our very own blue armadillo posted San Antonio kicks off Battleground Texas - Hey, Rick Perry...GAME ON! and then Chrislove posted This is why Texas is going to turn blue: (and how you can help!) after BGTX met with Houstonians. Here are their numbers:
Battleground Texas Timeline photo BGTXtimeline_zps3c3a9ccb.jpg

Burnt Orange Report: First Blue Ribbon Lobby Day a Success
On a very busy day at the capitol on Tuesday, over 400 advocates for women met with their respective elected officials and other democratic leaders to show their support for issues like women's healthcare, funding for public education, Medicaid expansion, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay in Texas.


Update from JayRaye in the comments:
Here's the scoop on the grand opening of our brand new Comal County Democratic Headquarters yesterday:

Hellraisers Journal: Texas Democrats Open New Comal County Headquarters

We were filled to over flowing, but no problem, the party out in the parking lot was just as much fun as the party inside. The food and music were great also.

Gilberto Hinojosa is a great speaker. Hope Y'all get a chance to hear him speak.


Battleground Texas
Burnt Orange Report
Progress Texas
Texas Democratic Party
Texas Kaos
Who represents me? (Texas)
Comal County Democratic Party
Dallas County Democratic Party
Harris County Democratic Party

Originally posted to nomandates on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 02:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Houston Area Kossacks.

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