Friday, May 05, 2006

HB 2 Down, But is it Out?

Rep Garnett Coleman raised a point of order on the Senate version of HB 2, and won. Because of the House rule, the Senate's dedication of 1/3 of the new taxes towards schools and teachers is not germane and cannot be considered by the House.

This will send it back to the Senate and puts all of the pressure on Lt Gov Dewhurst to pass out the foundation for the special session. The idea is for them to simply strip off the amendment, but this will force bad votes in the Senate, re-activate the education lobby, and fuel a campaign issue for November (legislature and Perry fail schools).

If Dewhurst and the Senate cannot resolve this with the House and Governor’s office, then there will be no dedicated funds to buy down property taxes as mandated by the Texas Supreme Court.

No funds for property taxes means that HB 1 is meaningless and all the new taxes from HB 3, 4, and 5 do nothing more than tax more Texans.

If HB 2 fails, the house of cards comes tumbling down, and Perry, Dewhurst, Craddick, and Strayhorn will have failed teachers, students, public schools, home owners, businessmen, people who buy and sell cars, smokers, and the average Texan. The four horsemen will increase your tax and not resolve the Supreme Courts ruling.

The main problem is that HB 2 on the House side, cannot give money to anything by property taxes and the Senate cannot figure out a way to help schools and work with the fractured leadership in the House.

UPDATE: This has just come in from the Quorum Report:

OGDEN PUTS A CALL OUT ON THE ABSENT SENATE FINANCE MEMBERS Missing include Shapiro, Janek, Deuell, Williams, Nelson and Brimer.

Chair Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) says he is waiting for eight members to start a vote on CSHB 1. Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano), angry at Ogden when he refused to let her pull her substitute of HB 1, stormed out of the meeting earlier. Ogden is using his maximum authority to return her to the room.


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