Author Archives: benraimer

The End is…..Near?

Midnight Monday, May 25, 2013, was supposed to herald the end of the 83rd Legislative Session. Some described the whole session as a very long Seinfeld episode—much talk, little action. But in the waning days, it is readily apparent that this has been one of the most productive sessions, with less conflict among members, in recent memory. The litany of potentially divisive issues from past years was absent, so members were able to build trust and rapport with each [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

100 Days and Counting …

As I write this, we are 105 days into the 83rd Legislative Session. It is time to take stock of where we are and what we have to get done prior to Sine Die on May 28! 

Both the Senate and House have wrapped up their budget proposals with minor (and in some cases MAJOR) tweaking continuing to occur. The President of the Senate has appointed five members to the Conference Committee; they will be joined by five [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Budget Buzz

 The Texas 83rd Legislative Session is well past its midpoint, and Senate and House financial leadership have crafted a straightforward, no-nonsense budget to take to their colleagues in the House and the Senate. The Senate voted out its budget this past week, and after several tweaks on the House side, their budget will be ready for consideration by the whole House on Thursday, April 4. We will witness House members engage in a lengthy floor [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bee Hive at the Capitol

The past two weeks have been as busy as the proverbial bee hive at the Capitol. The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) have both allocated their work into subcommittee groups for each article in the state budget. That means that a subgroup has studied their assigned major issues with great detail. Each of these subcommittees becomes “subject matter experts” on the funding of their focus issues.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Students Make a Difference during Visits to the Capitol

Over 90 UTMB students from the School of Medicine (SOM) and the School of Health Professions (SHP) stormed the Capitol on the first Tuesday of February. They were greeted on the north steps by our local delegation of Representative Greg Bonnen, Representative Craig Eiland and Senator Larry Taylor. The student group was then introduced to the Legislature in both the House and the Senate, where resolutions were passed declaring it “UTMB DAY” at the Capitol. [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Austin Update – January 31, 2013

The House and Senate have released HB1 and SB1, which are their preliminary versions of the 2014-2015 state budget. The two budgets are amazingly similar and only about $200 million apart. From UTMB’s point of view the historic and proposed funding schedule looks like this:




$457.7 million

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 1 (Tuesday, Jan. 8)

With a backdrop of cold, gray, rainy skies, the Texas 83rd Legislature got under way on Jan. 8. Right away, a long-anticipated challenge for the Speaker of the House position evaporated as a lone competitor withdrew from consideration. A quick line of nominations and seconds propelled Speaker Joe Straus (San Antonio) back into that leadership role by acclamation (and without a roll call vote). 

The 83rd Legislature is a changed [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

From Sine Die to Special Session, in 15 Hours!

For those legislators and staff who were planning on leaving the tumult in the capitol behind them, 5 p.m. Monday shocked many back to reality. The 82nd Session had ended just as prescribed after 140 days of deliberations and debate.

But with major bills caught up in the time limit rules in the House and Senate, both houses adjourned without completing their state business.  SB 1811, which outlines [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Finale…Sine Die

The 82nd Legislative Session has been quite a roller coaster ride — and it’s not over yet, with a special session starting today because the major fiscal matters bill needed to fund the  budget died in a Senate filibuster Sunday night.


By law, the special session can last 30 days; the Governor will determine what is “on the call” (i.e., what the [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Nearing the End? Perhaps!

As the number of days on the session calendar grows shorter, the Conference Committee members from the House and Senate finally came together to present their recommendations for all Articles in the state budget, with the exception of Article III (education). 

Of special interest to UTMB was the presentation of the budget related to correctional health care services. In Conference Committee, the amount appropriated for offender health care [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments