Judging from the past half century, only one thing is certain in this year’s redistricting battle in the Texas Legislature: the lawyers who attack and defend the maps will do very well, indeed.
Austin’s moonlight towers have long been a distinctive part of the city’s landscape, their lights casting a gentle glow on the streets 150 feet below. Though Austin’s fifteen surviving towers are now the last of their kind, this form of street lighting was once common across the United States. Many cities erected tower lights in the 1880s and 1890s and Austin’s system was modeled closely on Detroit’s, then the most extensive in the world.
The proposed appropriations bills introduced in the Texas House and Senate over the past two weeks merely confirm that Texas is in a budget crisis of historical proportions.
It’s no secret that the Texas Legislature faces a daunting budget problem, with deficits estimated to be as little as $15 billion or as much as $27 billion or more. In any event, the actual deficit and the anticipated shortfall seem to be a lot bigger than Texans have seen in a long time. Is this really the case?
Relations between Mexico and the United States appear so disappointing these days that we may find it difficult to remember them differently. Mexico-U.S. relations, however, have seen better times and recalling them could serve as a model for what is possible.