Below, I’ve copied the essential parts from the weekly Texas Democratic Party’s Leadership Memo.
Included are links to news clips, information on our worsening budget crisis, a legislative update, news on the big rally in Austin tomorrow and talking points.
If you haven’t already read it, see my piece on how many jobs Milam and surrounding counties will likely lose in the next year or so as a direct result of the cuts to education funding.
Then, scroll down to the bottom to find some information on one of the greatest leaps of hypocrisy ever perpetrated on the public by an elected official: Rick Perry’s assertion that he has no responsibility for the impact budget cuts will have on local school districts.
Actually, I really like John Kelso’s take on it and congratulate him for apparently coining the best word of the Legislative session: Rick-o-nomics.
~ From the Texas Democratic Party ~
Perry: Don’t blame the state for teacher layoffs – Austin American-Statesman
Report: Texas budget woes among the worst in nation – Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Perry warns legislature: Don’t tap Rainy Day Fund – Austin American-Statesman
More sunshine on cash flow – Austin American-Statesman
Texans duel over millions in school funding – Wall Street Journal
Illegal hiring bill spurs jest and jeers – Houston Chronicle
House panel approves voter ID bill – Dallas Morning News
Dunnam returns to Texas politics (sorta) – Houston Chronicle
Governor Perry’s Emergency Items:
- Senate Bill 14, the voter ID bill, was voted out of the Select Committee on Voter Identification and Voter Fraud on Monday on a party line vote. As of today it has not been scheduled for a hearing on the House floor but that will likely be early next week.
- House Bill 12, the “sanctuary cities” bill, remains in the House State Affairs Committee. It will likely be voted out early next week.
- House Bill 15, the sonogram bill, passed the House floor. Having already gone though the Senate, the bill will now head to a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions.
- Senate Bill 18, pertaining to eminent domain, is currently in the House Land and Resource Management Committee where it has already been given a hearing and will be voted out of committee soon.
- Senate Joint Resolution 1, calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was referred to the House Select Committee on State Sovereignty this week.
- On Wednesday, Republicans in both chambers along with Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst rallied around House Concurrent Resolution 50 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 14; both assert states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
- Dan Neil, the Republican who is contesting his loss to Democratic Representative Donna Howard, is continuing his challenge. The Select House Committee on Election Contest will meet on Tuesday. If Neil continues his challenge this issue could ultimately be decided by the full membership of the House.
- Subcommittee hearings of the House Appropriations Committee continued this week on House Bill 1, the state budget.
- The House Research Organization issued the staff directory for this 82nd Legislative Session.
- Friday is the filing deadline for bills and Monday will be the first day that non-emergency bills can he voted upon by the full House or Senate.
This week’s points are inspired by Perry’s latest boneheaded remark, from yesterday’s Austin American-Statesman:
“At a press conference this morning to discuss states’ rights, Gov. Rick Perry was asked about the thousands of Texas teachers expected at the Capitol this weekend to protest legislative proposals to cut billions of dollars in funding from school districts. Those proposals have prompted school districts across the state to begin laying off employees, including teachers, and the districts are preparing for many more layoffs to follow in the coming months.
“The lieutenant governor, the speaker, their colleagues aren’t going to hire or fire one teacher, as best I can tell,” Perry said. “That is a local decision that will be made at the local districts.””
Here are some thoughts you can share to spread the word:
- “Robert Scott, Perry’s appointed education commissioner, has said he needs at least $6 billion more than legislative leaders have proposed just to keep the schools functioning.” (Austin American-Statesman)
- Rather than acknowledge his role in creating the $27 billion budget hole, Perry tries to shift the blame to local school districts that rely on the state for critical funding. (Houston Chronicle – breakdown of funding)
- While Republicans in Austin are trying to starve public education, thousands of Texans are fighting to keep our schools open. (Info on Save Texas Schools rally, 3/12)