Topic: Legislation

Fight goes on for school funding, TRS retirees’ health-care cost relief

With six days left in the current 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature, not a single bill has been passed and sent to Gov. Greg Abbott, despite Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's ardent efforts to push through many hot-button proposals, including private-school vouchers and transgender-discrimination mandates. Still alive in the special session are important school-funding and TRS-Care cost-relief measures. You...

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Get it done! TRS retirees need health-care cost relief NOW

The Texas House and Texas Senate both have passed competing bills providing $212 million to cut rising health-care costs they recently imposed on retired school employees. The House passed HB 20 and the Senate passed an equivalent provision as  part of SB 19 in direct response to grass-roots pressure from retired and active school employees. However, with just a week...

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House sends school-finance bills to senate with supermajority support; House Panel Talks Up Use of State Reserves for Necessities Like Education, TRS-Care

House Sends School-Finance Bills to Senate with Supermajority Support: The Texas House hardly could have made it clearer today—by overwhelming margins, House members sent the Senate a $1.9-billion school-funding bill (HB 21) by a vote of 130 to 13, and they passed a measure (HB 30) to pay for it from the state’s $10-billion-plus reserve fund, the Economic Stabilization Fund,...

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House action: clean sweep for school funding; committee rejects vouchers

It was a clean sweep in the Texas House today for three key bills on school funding: HB 21 to increase school aid; HB 30 to pay for the increase; and HB 23 to provide for autism grants within the public schools. All passed easily on second reading, with the first two garnering 131 and 130 votes respectively and the...

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Funding Bill for School-Finance Increases Advancing in House

The House Appropriations Committee voted 22 to 0 today for HB 30 by Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond), a bill that would fund school-finance improvements to the tune of $1.9 billion for the coming fiscal 2018-2019 budget period beginning on September 1. The funding bill has strong bipartisan support, as evidenced by that unanimous committee vote. The funding in HB 30...

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Shifting Momentum at the State Capitol

Some lessons are emerging from the first, Senate-dominated week of the current special legislative session at the state Capitol. Number one:  Strong-arm tactics will only get the governor and lieutenant governor so far. Number two: Counter-pressure works, especially coming from rank-and-file education employees and retirees and friends of public education. Certainly Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been able to whip...

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Bad Bills in Texas Senate on Vouchers, Payroll Deduction Meet Bipartisan Resistance

Over the weekend and on Monday, bad bills in the Texas Senate promoting private-school vouchers and attacking your freedom to use payroll deduction met serious bipartisan resistance from grass-roots Texans. So did other measures, including an unfunded pay-raise proposal that would not deliver a real raise to teachers. Meanwhile, in the Texas House, opposition to vouchers, disdain for discriminatory legislation...

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