Topic: Budget

House Speaker Fires Back After Lieutenant Governor Threatens to Force Special Session

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, presiding officer of the Texas Senate and self-styled “bold” leader, today threatened to block must-pass bills and force a special session of the Legislature if his own priorities are not enacted before the regular session ends May 29. Patrick devoted a morning press conference to blasting House Speaker Joe Straus for the House’s failure to pass...

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Fund Our Schools: The Kids Are Worth It!

Improvements in funding for education and other children's services have been proposed in the current legislative session, but the education budget remains unresolved as lawmakers work toward a May 29 adjournment. The issue right now is in the hands of ten House-Senate negotiators. They and their colleagues in both chambers need to hear a message from you now to support:...

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Cutting Business Taxes at Expense of Education

Another bad idea set for floor action Thursday in the House is HB 28, the bill to cut business franchise taxes that schools depend on to fulfill state obligations for public education. This measure by Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) would subtract $1.53 billion from state coffers in 2018-19, at the very time we are told that there is not enough...

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State Board Approves Evidence-Based Science Standards; Legislative News on Charters, the Budget and More

State Board Approves Evidence-Based Science Standards:  For the first time in years, state standards for science instruction will be free of loaded language inserted to promote a creationist critique of the science behind the theory of evolution. That's the upshot of a debate and vote at the State Board of Education this week, in which a bipartisan majority (prominently including...

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Increased School Aid Wins Overwhelming Vote in Texas House; Senate Names Budget Team; TRS Board Elections

Increased School Aid Wins Overwhelming Vote in Texas House:  The big school-finance bill of the 2017 session,  HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston), was approved by an overwhelming margin of 134 to 16 Wednesday night after hours of debate on amendments but with no major changes. Texas AFT supported the bill, which would provide an infusion of an additional...

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Bills on the Move (or Not) in the Texas Legislature

As the Legislature takes a break until Monday for the Easter/Passover holiday, there’s news to report on a number of bills of importance to education employees. With just 46 days left in the 2017 regular session, some major bills are on the move, while some others are not. Educator misconduct:  SB 7, the bill by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) to crack...

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An Early Win on Vouchers in Marathon House Budget Debate

A big thank-you is in order for those of you who have written and called your Texas House members in opposition to private-school vouchers, because today your efforts paid off. Early in the House floor debate on the 2018-2019 state budget bill, a bipartisan anti-voucher amendment was adopted by a vote of 103 to 44. Authors of the amendment were...

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Battles Expected Over House Budget Bill, Proposed Amendments

More than 400 proposed amendments to the House budget bill for 2018-2019 have been pre-filed. The bill is the House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1, or CSSB 1. Rules require that any proposed increase in spending must be offset by a cut elsewhere in the budget. Battles over the amendments will be joined on the House floor on Thursday,...

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