Arts vs. Grannies: Texas Lege Axes Culture

The state's budget crisis is making for some stark choices in the legislature, clear-cut votes that lay things out for all to see.

One of them came today, when House members voted on whether to budget $3.5 million to the Texas Commission on the Arts (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.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly