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THE NEWS DISCOVERS THERE'S A COST TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 15, 2006, 11:36 AM

I thought I'd picked up the wrong tabloid this morning when I saw that Quick, the daily's free-and-worth-every-penny broadsheet, has a story today admitting that, * gasp * , illegal immigration has net negative economic impact on the local and state economy. It even goes on to admit that amnesty will be even more costly.

One would think from the daily's usual coverage for the past couple of months that 12 million illegal immigrants is nothing but a boon for everyone, even though at DallasBlog we've been tracking the local cost in terms of health care, schools and the criminal justice system. Better luego than never.

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TX SENATOR WILL SERVE ON IMMIGRATION BILL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 15, 2006, 11:33 AM

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Sen. John Cornyn
Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommittee, will be among the group of Senators and Representatives who will work out the differences between the Senate and House immigration bills, the conference committee.

"Serving on this panel will allow me a seat at the table to continue crafting solutions to our broken immigration system. My focus will remain on fighting for stronger border security, interior enforcement, employer verification and reform that brings the current illegal population into compliance with the law," The Texas Republican said. "The differences between the House and Senate bills are significant, and the solutions will be difficult. But it's important to have border state Senators on this committee to help craft a final bill that meets our national security and economic needs."

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HINOJOSA TO CUT DISD MAGNET SCHOOL BUDGET
by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 15, 2006, 10:37 AM

Two of Dallas' magnet schools have been recognized as among the top 10 public schools in the country.

Naturally, the Dallas Independent School District can't let that continue. So Superintendent Michael Hinojosa plans to make serious budget cuts into one of the few projects the DISD has actually done right.

Anyone wonder why there's middle class flight, why people are willing to pay more for suburban schools, or why two-thirds of the Dallas homeowner's tax bill goes to DISD?

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NEITHER SIDE HAPPY WITH BUSH BORDER PROPOSAL
by Trey Garrison    Mon, May 15, 2006, 10:27 AM

Oddly, or not, neither side of the illegal immigration debate here in Dallas is that thrilled with the proposal to deploy National Guard troops to the border.

One side says it's too much, the other not enough.

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TUITION REVENUE BOND BILL COMPROMISE PASSES
by Will Lutz    Sun, May 14, 2006, 11:17 PM

The Senate passed a scaled down version of the tuition revenue bond (TRB) bill. Subcommittee for Capital Funding for Higher Education Chairwoman Judith Zaffirini said the bill is a compromise between negotiations between House and Senate leaders.

Committee substitute HB 153 authorizes only $1.8 billion in TRBs, roughly half of what the House chamber voted to authorize last week. Tuition revenue bonds are used by public universities to finance capital improvement projects.

There are strings attached to the issuance of TRBs at two of Texas A&M University System’s campuses – Central Texas and San Antonio. The Higher Education Coordinating Board must certify that the campus has reached enrollment of at least 1,500 full time students for one semester. If the campuses do not reach the enrollment minimum by Jan. 2010, the Texas A&M University System cannot issue TRBs for that campus.

The Senate voted 29 aye, 1 present not voting (Sen. Tommy Williams)

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STATUS OF NEW BILLS BEFORE THE SPECIAL SESSION
by Will Lutz    Sun, May 14, 2006, 11:16 PM

Here is a quick update on the status of other bills on the call for the special session as of 6 p.m. Sunday, May 14:

HJR 26/HB 72 (tax relief for seniors whose tax rates are frozen): Passed House. Awaiting action in Senate Finance Committee.

HB 63 (funding to repair hurricane damage at Lamar University): Passed both houses. Senate amendments await further action in the House.

HB 97 (banning protests near funerals): Passed both houses. Awaiting signature in the presence of both chambers, then off to the governor.

HB 149 (provides indemnification needed for Texas to bid for federal FutureGen (clean coal electric generation) project): Passed House. Awaits action in Senate Finance Committee. Committee posted for this evening. HB 153 (tuition revenue bonds): Passed the House. Awaiting action in the Senate Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education.

HB 154 (transferring control of Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy to A&M Health Science Center): Passed both houses. Awaiting signature in the presence of both chambers, then off to the governor.

HB 163 (securitization of hurricane damage in Entergy area): Passed both Houses. Awaiting signature in the presence of both chambers, then off to the governor.

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SPECIAL SESSION UPDATE FOR PERRY/SHARP BILLS
by Will Lutz    Sun, May 14, 2006, 11:14 PM

 Here is a quick update on the status of the bills in the Perry-Sharp tax plan as of 2 p.m. Sunday, May 14:

HB 1 (School funding and property tax relief): Awaiting signature in the presence of both chambers, then off to the governor. HCR 48 makes technical corrections.

HB 2 (dedicates new revenue sources to property tax relief and later schools): Conference report adopted in the Senate. Awaits adoption of conference report in the House. (Conference report dedicates all revenue to property tax relief until the maintenance tax rate of $1.00 per $100 of valuation is reached. Thereafter, two-thirds is dedicated to property tax relief and one-third to schools.)

HB 3 (revised franchise tax): Off to the governor.

HB 4 (liar’s affidavit – sales tax change on private used car sales): Off to the governor.

HB 5 (Cigarette tax increase): Passed both Houses. Senate amendments await further action in the House.

SB 6 (changes to HB 3): Pending in Senate Finance Committee

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BORDER FENCE MAP UNVEILED
by Brian Bodine    Sun, May 14, 2006, 08:14 PM

border fence map.jpgA border security plan that involves lasers, unmanned drones, and cement barriers may be unveiled by President Bush on Monday night, according to the New York Post. The Post article also features a map from Representative Duncan Hunter’s office that shows the areas where 854 miles of fencing will be put up along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Click here to read story

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NOT A VET AFTER ALL
by Brian Bodine    Sun, May 14, 2006, 07:08 PM

A 57 year old man who spent decades telling people that he was a POW in Vietnam has turned out to be a fraud. The San Antonio Express-News reports that the man tried to get a fishing boat under the guise of being a former POW, but was investigated by veterans who discovered that the man had never served in Vietnam.

Click here for story
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A MAVS' TOP TEN: 1) DIRK'S ANKLE by The Fish
by Mike Fisher    Sun, May 14, 2006, 07:06 PM

If the favored Spurs are ousted from the NBA Playoffs, will Eva Longoria go down in history as basketball's Yoko Ono? That and nine other grab-baggy thoughts as we find a seat for Monday night's San Antonio-at-Dallas Game 4. Click into the 'School of Fish':

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