The state legislature today faced a stark choice today: Kill the Texas Commission on the Arts or help the elderly.
The vote involved whether to budget $3.5 million for commission (enough to keep it alive for federal matching grants), or the Community Based Alternative, which helps elderly and disabled transition into nursing homes.
Score: Grandma 1, Culture 0.
The vote today was 67-61, with 17 members wimping out with a "present" vote.
The Dallas Morning News says those who voted to ax the commission were scared by the attack ads they could envision if they voted the other way.
Veteran House members said they easily could visualize the hit piece: Incumbent X voted to give money to the symphony rather than to Grandma and disabled cousin Billy, who needed it for a little help so they could stay in their own homes
At least one member called it a Sophie's Choice, which is perhaps overdramatizing things, which we can't decide is ironic or not.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.