July 30, 2005
Some weekend reading

Couple of articles of interest regarding the state of the special session...

Via Aaron Pena, a very complimentary piece in the Star Telegram on his House colleague, Bob Griggs (R, North Richland Hills). One gets the feeling from the piece that if we had more Bob Griggses in the House and fewer Kent Grusendorfs, we'd have a workable school finance plan by now.

Via Eye on Williamson, here's a Dave McNeeley column in which he says the biggest beneficiary so far of the endless legislative summer has been Carole Keeton Strayhorn.

And finally, from PinkDome, a story on poison pills and closed doors.

The Texas Senate emerged Thursday evening from a daylong session behind closed doors as deadlocked over public education as it was when it started the day.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst insisted he had the two-thirds vote necessary to begin debating Senate Bill 2, which overhauls state spending on schools. But he worried that the Senate, taking a cue from House colleagues, might implode the special session by adding a "poison pill" amendment to the measure that would raise teacher salaries, pay to distribute new textbooks and do little else.

Dewhurst, a Republican, never allowed the bill to come to the floor, avoiding the fate of Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, who two days earlier saw the House repudiate the Republican leadership's attempts to pass public education and tax measures.

Instead Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, said she will file a new version of the school legislation today.

That measure won't provide more than the $2.8 billion in new money in SB 2, but she said it would give superintendents more discretion in how they spend the money.

To the public, it must have appeared that nothing was happening Thursday.

It's looked that way to me for a lot longer than that.

At one point, senators called the governor's office to inquire whether he would call them back for a third special session this summer if the Legislature quit over the impasse.

They were assured Gov. Rick Perry would not let the issue die.

Apparently, the Governor has never learned that the point of banging one's head against a wall is the good feeling you get when you finally stop.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 30, 2005 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack