The Texas House gets back to work on the next state budget today. Lawmakers worked late Friday and into Saturday on the $164 billion dollar bill. And though there were passionate debates over which programs to save, the Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey reminds us the next state budget won't be pretty - for anyone,
Numbers aren’t all that’s buried in the budget. Lawmakers have filed hundreds of amendments that are political in nature, from repealing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants to trying to push Planned Parenthood out of the family planning business.
The Tribune has also created a flow chart for those of you wishing to keep up with the process of passing the budget. Though it's Sunday and the height of Central Texas' wildflower season (at least if you go by the number of cars parked along local roads with kids plopped in bluebonnet patches, parents with camera in hand), it's unlikely to be a dazzler. That's due to the ongoing drought in Central Texas. Yup, you thought those 2009 rains that filled the lake reservoirs around the region were enough to get us out of danger. They were, but they didn't last long. And now, the LCRA says we're in for a long, hot, dry spell.
Drought conditions have returned to Central Texas and the Hill Country. Even though some rain has fallen in January, the region is still feeling the effects of a very dry autumn. October through December of 2010 was one of the driest periods on record for those months, and 2011 is expected to be drier than normal because of a very strong La Niña weather pattern
Today's overcast skies will bring little but humidity. But if that doesn't phase you, there's plenty going on around town to check out. Like the Art City Austin, which wraps up today. It'll affect traffic downtown, so if you're not headed to the event, check out the city's road closure map.