As lawmakers in Austin reach more obstacles in the school finance issue many legislators on the House side are saying it’s time to call it quits and let the courts decide. But the state senate is pushing to continue through the next two weeks.
After two regular legislative sessions and six special sessions to fix school finance, lawmakers appear to be no closer to finding a solution. Republican Speaker of the House Tom Craddick was the first to suggest that it might be time to call off the efforts and head home.
Craddick says the most important thing right now is getting new text books into Texas schools and the only way to do that under State law is to adjourn the session early and hold a legislative budget board meeting to appropriate the funds for that purpose. This would give just enough time before the start of school to get new books into the classrooms. Democratic State Representative Sylvester Turner agrees with the speaker that it’s time to go home and leave school finance alone.
The Speaker wants to end the session and the House must vote to agree. While this may not happen, it’s a clue to the frustration among lawmakers in the capital. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst says he was surprised by the Speaker’s announcement.
Dewhurst says he understands that there don’t seem to be enough votes in the House to pass a plan. But he says if we can send people to the moon we ought to be able to reach an agreement on school finance. The Senate plans to pass a school finance bill in the hopes of encouraging House members to keep on trying. Ted Royer is a spokesman for Governor Rick Perry and says the Governor is disappointed in the legislature’s inability to reach concensus.
But Rep. Turner says nothing is getting accomplished and he thinks it’s time for he and his colleagues to go home, get some rest, hear from constituents and wait to see what the courts have to say.