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Is this the end for our heroes?

Another day, another story about how they’re still not quite there on school finance reform and how to pay for it.

The prospects of a public school property tax cut passing the Legislature dimmed Wednesday as House and Senate negotiators argued over whether businesses or consumers should carry the burden of paying for the cuts.

“I give it 50-50,” House Ways and Means Chairman Jim Keffer said about House Bill 3, which must pass in order to provide the one-third cut in property taxes the House wants.

The legislative session ends Monday. The problem is the natural reluctance of lawmakers to vote for new taxes as well as deep divisions between the Senate and House over how high to increase the sales tax and how to structure a new broad-based business tax.

“The fact that we haven’t yet come to a consensus is evidence of just how deeply passionate both sides are about getting it right for the kids of this state,” said House Speaker Tom Craddick.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said “there’s no reason we can’t reach an agreement tonight or tomorrow,” but expressed frustration with House insistence on tax formulas that give businesses a property tax cut that would be paid for by consumers.

You know the drill by now. I’ll spare you the same-old same-old on the sticking points and the blame-assigning, entertaining though the latter may be. According to what I heard on NPR this morning, today is the last day for getting bills out of conference committees (at least, that’s what I think I heard), so no agreement today means this is dead for the 79th Lege. Will Governor Perry then call a special session? He doesn’t seem to want to, but he may come under too much heat to leave things be until the courts step in again. Poor baby, such a tough spot to be in.

How dire is the Lege’s plight? It’s so bad that In the Pink has run out of Meg Ryan movies to compare the Craddick/Dewhurst bickering to, and has started on Rutger Hauer flicks instead. If that isn’t a cry for help, I don’t know what is.

So is it time for us to finally get some of that vaunted leadership that Governor Perry likes to brag about?

With reporters clomping behind him, Gov. Rick Perry barreled out the east doors of the Capitol until he reached the drive outdoors, where he said: “Things are not going well.”

Disaster forecaster?

Nope. The Republican governor was speaking only of the loss-prone Houston Astros.

Well, even I have to admit that the Stros are a more intractable problem right now than the tax code. Keep up the good work, Governor!

One piece of good news: Expanded gambling is officially dead for this session. Senator Nelson didn’t even have to put on her pink tennies to see it die.

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2 Comments

  1. Marty Jackson says:

    Again, Rick Perry’s new cmapaign slogan should be: “So much to do, so little done.”

  2. Pink Lady says:

    Are you kidding me? There are *plenty* more Meg Ryan movies to choose from – just wait until I parody “Addicted to Love” and “Prelude to a Kiss.” The lost classics…