April 17, 2006
Get ready, 'cause here they come

Well, it's special session time again. I don't know what to expect any more than you do. It's not clear yet where all the battle lines have been drawn - among other things, as noted in the Chron article, neither Lt. Gov. Dewhurst nor House Speaker Craddick have articulated a position on the Texas Tax Reform Commission (TTRC) plan. Whether they support it or not, reluctantly or enthusiastically, will have an effect.

I'm not foolish enough to make any predictions. But former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff is:

"As you get closer to the deadline, it's easier to pick up votes," said former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, a Republican who authored the 1993 law as a senator. "At that point, members can go home and say they didn't like the plan, but they had to vote for it to keep the schools from closing."

Mr. Ratliff, now a consultant to the Texas Association of School Boards, predicted that any decision by lawmakers "will go down to the wire, if not past the wire."

"But in the end, I don't think a majority of legislators are willing to take a chance on missing the deadline."

Actually, I think that's very likely to be true. Eye on Williamson is thinking along similar lines. As he says, I think at some point the Republican leadership will push the message that they can't afford a meltdown to the troops, and some kind of deal will get struck.

The thing to watch for as this unfolds is the reaction of the plaintiffs in the West Orange-Cove case. Any deal that gets struck isn't official in my mind until they say they're satisfied and won't seek a further injunction from the court. The Lege has to do more than just pass any old bill, and whatever they do, the odds are they'll have to do it again, in 2007 or 2009. Barring something truly revolutionary, this is just the beginning.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 17, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

Here it comes, Here it comes, Here it comes...
Here comes your 19th special session.

Oh, Who's to blame, that they're just too lame.

Nothing they do ever seems to pass.
Rebulican lege is just a pain in the ass.

Posted by: Michael on April 17, 2006 10:37 AM