AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - House and Senate members were busy Friday settling differences and voting on compromises. Lemonade was among the items served up. HB 234 protects the summertime favorite and the kids who sell it in neighborhoods from being harassed by local authorities.
State Rep. Matt Krause (R) Fort Worth spent the morning working out a problem with a Senate amendment that he believes will keep his Bill alive.
"Absolutely, I think it’s going to stick, everybody wants it to, we get in back on both floors and we will get this passed on to the Governor's desk before Sine Die,” said Krause.
Another big deal was reached Thursday night. State lawmakers gave final approval and sent to the Governor the controversial religious freedom legislation known as the Save Chick fil-A bill.
Governor Abbott has indicated he will sign it.
One of the major bills waiting final approval is HB2. The controversial property tax reform bill requires public votes before certain tax hikes can be made. A compromise set the rollback trigger for school districts at 2.5%. For cities and counties its 3.5%.
State Senator Royce West (D) Dallas said he expects a vote on the HB2 deal will come Saturday. He believes there are enough votes to pass it despite his opposition to it.
"My biggest concern is taking away from local officials the ability to make decisions that are close to the people. And if for some reason they do something that’s stupid in terms of raising taxes which theoretically they haven't done in a long time, significantly than people will vote them out. Again the biggest portion of the tax bill is not the city not the county, not the community college or the hospital district it’s the schools,” said West.
Making sure the Conference Committee included the Public Voting section was critical. Without it, a domino effect would happen, jeopardizing the Education Finance Reform deal and possibly even the budget. Thursday, at the Governor's Mansion, it was announced a compromise had been reached on the budget for the education and tax reform package.
State leaders hailed it as a political game changer. "So we are giving people a say in their local government in their tax policies on their property whether it's a homeowner or business owner like in a way they have never had,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
The handshakes Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion celebrated the deal. It will take weekend votes under the capitol dome to seal it. Those votes have to be done before Monday.