"The House of Representatives will not be a party to passing legislation that does not contain meaningful property tax relief and proper education reforms," said Craddick. "We should not pass a bill just to present the appearance that some action has been taken."
His comments make it likely that this summer's second special session on school finance will sputter to an end on or before Aug. 19 without any action on teacher pay raises, new programs for students or less reliance on local property taxes.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Gurwitz raises a point about Craddick and his do-nothing style that I haven't seen mentioned before anywhere else.
Many can share in the blame for this predicament, but few can claim more of it than Speaker Craddick, who has acted as a political impediment to Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and is now leading the legislative retreat in Austin. By Craddick's lights, the Legislature should just go home and let the courts settle this nettlesome school issue.
There could scarcely be a belief that demonstrates more lack of fidelity to conservative, Republican principles or less leadership.
At the heart of the Texas GOP and millions of conservative voters lies an issue that derives it potency from a high court usurping the legislative process. Craddick, with regard to education, would willfully hand that process over to the court.
Gurwitz might, of course, have noted that neither Perry nor Dewhurst, nor anyone else in a position of leadership in the Republican Party for that matter, has made this criticism of Craddick. On many counts, it's hard to see what kind of leadership, conservative or otherwise, that those two have demonstrated lately. But one can at least give them credit for doing something to ensure that the issue is addressed legislatively. I just wonder why Craddick has gotten off so easily on this point.
(Thanks to Carl Whitmarsh for the pointer to the Gurwitz piece.)Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 11, 2005 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack