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They should have stamped "fragile" on the House budget package. That is how tricky it was to assemble. Chairman Pitts tried to explain to the tea party members that there was no money in SJR 1; it's just a vessel for moving future payments into the Rainy Day Fund for water projects. That didn't seem to mollify the tea party contingent, led by Van Taylor and Scott Sanford, that gathered at the back microphone. Some members worried that the rating services (Moodys and Standard & Poors) would be alarmed because there wasn't enough money in SJR 1. In fact there is no money in the bill, nor was there intended to be any. The money comes later, in HB 1025, where it will be drawn down from the Rainy Day Fund. It will still be necessary for citizens to vote on whether to approive SJR 1. If they don't approve it in November, the Legislature will be back at square one, and action on the water plan will have to wait until 2015.
Haven't we seen this picture before? Speaker Straus performs well for most of the session, but when crunch time comes, he can't close the deal. His team has no cohesion (except for Geren), and there doesn't appear to be a strategy. So Straus falls back into his old persona of presiding rather than leading. It's happened every session he has been speaker. I wrote much the same story line a few days ago, ending with the prediction that Straus would end up putting Rick Perry in the driver's seat. That is exactly where we are headed.
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Re: My op-ed in the Express-News: Future of Texas Begins in Pre-kinder Classrooms
Thanks for your support, Raul!
Re: State Leaders' Proposal Prolongs Severe Education Cuts
We really need new leadership in this state! What's more important than educating the next generatio...
Great editorial. Prekindergarten makes such a difference. I'm glad to see you and the Mayor pushing ...
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
A one-page explanation of the budget choices facing Texas.
A one-page explanation of public education policy under Gov. Perry and Republican legislators.
A one-page explanation of women's health policy under Gov. Perry and Republican legislators.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Today Texas Comptroller Susan Combs provided the latest evidence that the state's revenue crisis is over, announcing that state sales tax revenue in June totaled $1.98 billion, up 15.2 percent compared to June 2011. The announcement signaled the 27th consecutive month of sales tax growth.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Yesterday Governor Perry announced that, "Texas has no intention of implementing a state insurance exchange or expanding Medicaid as part of Obamacare." I'm disappointed -- but not shocked -- by the Governor's statement on the Affordable Care Act. Let's take a look at what it means and what you can do about it.