Hot List Day 59

Day 59 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“The lieutenant governor, the speaker, their colleagues aren’t going to hire or fire one teacher as best as I can tell.”
Rick Perry skirting blame for the potential widespread teacher layoffs that would come as a result of the proposed state budget cuts to schools.

“There’s been one spot of light for those hoping to avoid budget cuts: using the Rainy Day fund money to soften the budget shortfall. Pitts himself is carrying HB 275 which would take $4.3 billion from the Rainy Day fund to pay off the state’s current debts from this current fiscal year….But even if the measure passes, it would hardly be a total solution to the state budget woes.” 

As if proposed cuts to school funding aren’t painful enough, Republican Rep. Burt Solomon’s sanctuary city bill could have the unintended consequences for schools. Democratic Rep. Rene Oliviera says under the bill, school districts would have to check the immigration status of students. That would violate some federal provisions—and could result in its students’ immigration status or lose all their state funding.  

Conservative Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley waiting for the Senate to confirm him as the chairman of the state Forensic Science Commission. But according to the Austin American-Statesman, at least two Republicans won’t vote for Bradley, leaving his nomination four votes shy of the 21 needed to get considered on the Senate floor. 

Today, the House Appropriations Committee will consider the proposal from committee Chair Jim Pitts to spend $4.3 billion of the Rainy Day fund. Expect lively protest from far right, fiscal conservative groups wanting to balance the budget through cuts alone. 

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.