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Inside Texas Politics (4/14/19)

Property and sales tax, Deep Ellum, possible discrimination, Bernie and more: It's all in this week's 'Inside Texas Politics'


Inside Texas Politics began with Texas’ unsustainable property taxes. Most tax revenue goes to area school districts with cities and counties receiving the rest. Each year, taxpayers pay more money to these taxing entities and now are demanding relief from lawmakers. Next week, legislators will resume the debate on how to lower property taxes across the state. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is closely watching the deliberations. He joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


Texas Governor Greg Abbott now says he wants to increase the state’s sales tax rate by one-percent. This extra revenue would help pay for education and lower Texas’ high property taxes as well. Texas Tribune reporter Alan Rocha, filling in for Ross Ramsey,  joined host Jason Whitely to discuss Governor Abbott’s proposal.  Alan and Jason also discussed the new push in the legislature to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes.


Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall’s supporters have wondered about her decision to charge the woman who was beaten by a man in Deep Ellum last month. Last week on Inside Texas Politics two councilmen offered Chief Hall some advice. Contributor Ed Gray from the Commish Radio show offered another viewpoint on this week’s My Voice, My Opinion.


Opponents say that legislation that would allow licensed professionals to discriminate against clients because of their religious beliefs is as bad as the bathroom bill. Business leaders are warning that this bill could hurt Texas. Chris Wallace from the North Texas Commission joined host Jason Whitely to explain why.


Healthcare is likely to become a driving issue in next year's presidential election. An idea from Bernie Sanders sparked this week’s Flashpoint. From the right, Wade Emmert, the former chairman of Dallas County's Republican Party. And from the left, LULAC's national president Domingo Garcia.


Reporters Roundtable puts the headlines in perspective each week. Alana Rocha (filling in for Ross Ramsey) and Bud Kennedy returned along with Berna Dean Steptoe, WFAA’s political producer. Alana, Bud and  Berna Dean joined host Jason Whitely to offer perspective on Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s face-to-face with a gun rights activist.  The journalists also discussed Arlington Republican representative Tony Tinderholt’s bill that would criminalize women who get abortions in Texas.