Today is the most important day of the session. If the negotiations between the House and Senate fail to produce an agreement, a special session is all but inevitable. The sticking points are higher ed and public ed. The Senate wants to spend $1 billion more on higher ed; the House wants $600 million more in public ed. Governor Perry, no fan of higher ed these days, doesn’t want to give the universities more money. He also wants legislation that will make their funding dependent upon certain outcomes, such as increased graduation rates.
The two houses are not far apart when it comes to setting the final amount to be spent. The Senate wants to spend around $37.4B and the House is around $34B. Sentiment is growing in the House Republican caucus for spending some of the Rainy Day Fund. The Senate has 30 votes for using the Rainy Day Fund.
The fiscal matters bills have to pass, and a school finance bill has to pass. To quote from an old song, We have a long way to go and a short time to get there.
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