The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nothing Is Going To Get Done At This Special Session

Perry wants tax reform.

Dewhurst wants tax reform and school finance.

Craddick's just praying he doesn't get kidnapped by some angry pharmacy students and dropped off in the middle of the King Ranch when he visits the Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy next week.

Dewhurst seems, as always, to be positioning himself as the moderate in this game. Then again, when you're flanked by Perry and Craddick, how hard can that be?

Dewhurst, who heads the Senate, said education reforms should be considered simultaneously with tax reform. He said the Senate will approve legislation "to improve public education" and send it to the House whether or not Perry puts the issue on the agenda.

"I think we have a window of opportunity to address not only improving our schools but lowering our local school property taxes," said Dewhurst, who voiced support for putting "more money in the classroom to hold on to our good teachers."

"What I worry about is that if we take the attitude of 'Let's do these sequentially,' we'll never get to school reform and improving our public schools," Dewhurst said.


Dewhurst said he's worried that if lawmakers only resolve tax problems as ordered by the Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit by school districts, they will lose momentum for passing other education legislation.

"Once the lawsuit is solved, the wind goes out of the sail of a lot of the members of the Legislature," Dewhurst said after his own speech to the manufacturers' group. "They'll want to go home. I want to see our public schools improved."

Perry on the other hand seems to think that school finance would be 'too hard':

The governor supports measures meant to improve schools. But he said part of the reason for past legislative failures on school finance is "there was so much contentiousness between 'Are we going to put this much money in?' 'Are we going to do this much for teacher salaries?' 'Are we going to do these reforms?'"

That's funny, I always thought a good Governor would be able to push past contentiousness. Guess Rick Perry with his five plus years of experience as Governor to my none has proven me wrong.