The Chron appears to be the only outlet reporting this latest development in the school finance battle.
A tax bill that received only eight votes in the Texas House last month was re-filed Thursday and could come up for floor debate next week.
"We're going to give it a shot," said Speaker Tom Craddick, who quickly added that if internal House polling shows insufficient support for the bill, it won't be called up for a vote.
"I'm willing to work and push ahead, but I'm not going to bring anything to the floor that I don't know we have the votes," Craddick said.
His comments were a change from Wednesday, when he said the House had no interest in trying to draft a tax bill by the mandatory Aug. 19 end of this summer's second special session on school finance.
Craddick said he doesn't think last month's 124-8 vote against a similar tax bill was a "true vote." It came shortly after the House killed an education funding bill, which had been heavily amended during floor debate.
Here's a brief description of the bill from the Quorum Report.
Rep. David Swinford (R-Dumas) admits House Bill 8 is not ideal, but it is enough to get the Legislature through the court challenges and to the next session, when a full tax overhaul can be considered, he told the House select committee on public education tonight.
Swinford’s bill is a combination of various taxes already proposed on the floor of the House. Elements include a ¾ cent sales tax increase and some expanded taxation on auto and computer repairs, plus a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase, the liar’s affidavit and the closure of the Geoffrey and Delaware loopholes. Language perceived as double taxation has been deleted and a $7,500 homestead exemption option added.
“I believe that this particular bill will get us out of the courts as far as a statewide property tax, and that is the main purpose I bring it to you today,” said Swinford, who also added, “I also believe this is not the best bill that we can do.”
HB 71, the new education reform bill, is not essentially the same as the HB2 that passed to engrossment as we first reported. Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-Houston notes that it is much more like HB2 as filed before it went through the committee process.