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00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeff690001Agenda Texas is KUT's weekly report on the Texas Legislative session. Each week we'll take a deeper look into the policies being considered and explain what they could mean for you and your life. From transportation to education to the environment and everything in between.It's KUT's political podcast that lets you know what's happening under the dome and explains how it hits home.

Agenda Texas: Ethics, Guns and Taxes Lead Legislative Week

Lawmakers can raise money for their campaigns until 30 days before the Legislature convenes.
KUT News
Lawmakers can raise money for their campaigns until 30 days before the Legislature convenes.

We’ve got six weeks left in the Texas legislative session. And each remaining day will bring critical votes on all kinds of bills. The Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey says one highlight of this week is the debate over what changes to make to the agency that oversees political money: the Texas Ethics Commission.

"You know it looks like they're going to fiddle with the rules of the Ethics Commission itself without tightening the laws right now about how politicians should behave once they're in office and while they're getting to office during a campaign," Ramsey said.

There's also a good chance a handful of bills that would allow more guns in schools will be heard in the House or Senate. But Ramsey said the problem now is you're never really sure what's going to happen next.

"We're in this land in the last six weeks of the legislative session where you'll say something's going to happen or not going to happen and you're not talking about certainties you're just talking about probabilities," Ramsey said.

Of course one of the biggest events of the week just happened a few hours ago. Today Governor Rick Perryunveiled his plan to cut about $1.6 billion from the state’s business franchise tax.

That includes a 5 percent across the board cut on the current business tax rate. A $1 million dollar deduction for businesses making $20 million or less and more reasons for businesses to move to Texas.

“I’m also proposing to make Texas more appealing to outside businesses by allowing firms to deduct the cost of moving to the Lone Star state. These moves will contribute to a climate of job creation and continued prosperity for all Texans," Perry said.

All these cuts would be paid for out of the state’s general revenue.  Giving a boost, or maybe a good shove, to lawmakers’ efforts to pay for transportation and water infrastructure projects out of the state’s rainy day fund.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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