…a Special Session began.
Blame Senator Wendy Davis. Or, thank Wendy Davis. I suppose it depends on which side of the aisle you spend your time. Or, which side of the education issue you serve your loyalties.
As the twilight of the legislative session was coming to a close, in a stunning, out of the blue moment, Senator Wendy Davis from Fort Worth prevented the State of Texas from passing the constitutionally mandated balanced budget by staging a 79 minute filibuster to stall the legislature, letting time expire, and forcing the legislature into a special session.
Davis simply wanted the education bill that was being considered in the budget to have a thorough look by the legislature. Most people do not understand school funding — some of these people include the legislators that represent us. Davis felt that the legislature should at least understand why education is losing $4 billion before they cast a single vote on the bill. How is that for logic? Governor Perry disagreed.
“We come here to work,” an irritated Perry said Monday as it was becoming clear that Davis had killed an off-kilter school finance bill with a late-Sunday filibuster. “We don’t come here to show horses.”
Remember, this is coming from a governor that felt sonogram and voter ID bills were “emergency legislation” instead of school funding or fixing the structural tax deficit that caused the shortfall in the first place. Not to mention that Governor Perry now has to spend another 30 days in Austin instead of on the presidential campaign trail. Senator Davis just put a kink in his summer plans.
Sadly, there are too many people in this state that just did not see that importance of what Senator Davis brought to the state.
Here are some comments from the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
IW – “Mo Money for education. We need more football Taj Mahall’s , administrators, Pre K (babysitting). Builder Bob Superintendents. The drop out rate will never change.”
LesleyPezley – “Teachers are overpaid. Most make $50K plus great benefits for a PART-TIME job.”
Slag – “Windy Davis most likely was following the advice on filibuster by one of her dumb democrats as she is not intelligent enough to know anything about a filibuster herself. As another poster has commented, she has ensured that the Dems will incur ever more losses in the special session.”
Now that we have a special session in Texas, we will all watch with great interest. The drawback to this session is that the rules have changed and the majority will rule the session. This means that anything that was voted down in regular session, or taken off the table, can be revisited. It also means that any unfinished business is also up for consideration. However, all vote is now by majority rule. Republicans have the upper hand in both houses of the legislature.
The filibuster was a risk and saving education was worth the risk.
However, despite the drawbacks of the special session, there is one thing that Senator Davis gave to the public with her 79 minute speech…time. The Harvard graduate from Fort Worth had enough foresight to recognize that teachers, students, and parents will have a lot more time in the month of June to make their voices heard in Austin. She bought time for educators to stand up and fight for equitable school funding for Texas schools.
Take advantage of this gift that Senator Davis has given you. Call your representatives, go to Austin, pay close attention to your teacher unions, organizations like Save Texas Schools, and make plans to let your voices be heard! This is your chance to make a difference for Texas schools.
And if nothing changes in special session?:
The shortfall will still exist
Local school districts may have to resort to TREs for more revenue
Cuts in programs and jobs
Texas State Supreme Court steps in
Structural tax deficit will still exist or…
Cuts to education will be permanent every 2 years…$4 billion + $4 billion +$4 billion, etc…while school districts continue to grow each year.