February 08, 2006
Dewhurst disagrees with Perry on special session agenda

Rick Perry may think that the coming special session on school finance reform should ne about property taxes instead, but David Dewhurst begs to differ.

"Why don't we come together? Why don't we agree on some reforms?" Dewhurst asked in an address to the Texas Association of Business.

Without mentioning Perry by name, he said he disagreed with limiting the session to reducing school taxes and fixing the funding system to comply with a Texas Supreme Court order.

"Most of us agree that school finance is bigger than just lowering local school property taxes, as much as that's needed," he added.

Yeah, most of us do. There's a lot to dread about this upcoming session, whether it's strictly limited to free candyproperty tax cuts or not. Certainly, Tom Craddick's notions of "reform" for schools bring little of value to the debate. If I had faith that Dewhurst could act as a real counterweight to Craddick, I'd be less worried. Perhaps the political landscape after the primaries and the two special elections will make it harder for Craddick to run rampant. It's a bit of a crapshoot, but on balance I think it's better to have this special session be about more than just property taxes. We'll see how this goes.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 08, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

Kuff: I'm not so sure letting the Lege tackle school finance this year would be such a bad idea. The House may be controlled by Republicans, but with two new Democrats in the House (Hubener and Howard) during the special session, there'd be even a greater chance that a Democratic amendment would have a chance of passing. Didn't the Hochberg amendment have the majority support of the House?

Perry's decision not to touch school finance this session seems like a purely political move to me; his base would shrivel if they realized that the Democrats had pulled the rug out from under him by passing their own bill without him having any say in it. Phillip Martin's might just be right in wanting the Lege to get to work on this already.

Posted by: Ryan Goodland on February 8, 2006 2:59 PM