Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Gov. Rick Perrys latest legislative special session started on April 17. The session will be the third called session in two years in addition to the regular session. All ended in gridlock on school finance. Now the legislature is up against a Supreme Court deadline of June 1 to finally pass a school finance plan that is constitutional.
Scary Movie 4 came in first in the weekend box office. Given the history of the Texas Legislatures recent failures, this session looks like a sequel:
Perry appointed former state comptroller John Sharp, a Democrat, to draft the Governors new plan. Current state comptroller Carole Strayhorn, who is running against Perry as an independent candidate, has been publicly critical of his plan. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Tom Craddick, both Republicans, have disagreed with each other, and with Perry, on how exactly to lower property taxes while raising money for schools. If lawmakers do not meet the June 1 deadline, the state will be legally prevented from sending money to its 1,037 public school systems until lawmakers come up with a new system.
Called sessions last 30 days. That leaves time for a 5th attempt before the deadline. Scary.