Friday, March 10, 2006

More Cracks

As we try to decipher what the meaning of Tuesday primary results are most of the newspapers around the state seem to think it's has weakened the Speaker, deepened the divides inside the TRP, and left everyone wondering about what will happen in Austin in about a month or so.

As one of the articles above states, it doesn't matter what happened on Tuesday, that doesn't change who's going to show up for the special in about a month. It's pretty much the same cast of characters from last year. Oh yeah, there's two more Democratic votes in the House than there was last summer.

The big question remains, what will be considered success in the upcoming special session(s)? Is success just getting to June 1st without the schools closing? Is success "reforming" the whole school finance system? Will there be another attempt to squeeze vouchers in? At this point it looks like Gov. Perry is trying to have it both ways, :
Kathy Walt, a spokeswoman for the governor, said that no one has been a bigger champion for lower property taxes than Perry. She said his plan is to call lawmakers back to first craft a tax plan that passes constitutional muster, and if time permits, they might then turn their attention to other matters.
But as this shows that divide is much deeper than that:
But Democratic state Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston said he won't be satisfied with a quick fix for the public schools. Ellis said in an e-mail to his constituents that he intends to push for a significant pay raise for teachers and for a more generous health insurance package for educators. In addition, he said, any effort to raise taxes on consumers to offset property-tax reductions would likely meet with Democratic resistance.

"It makes little sense to raise the nation's highest sales tax to cut some of the highest property taxes," Ellis said.

Lutz said the challenge facing Republican leaders will be to smooth over the hurt feelings on the political front and to forge a consensus in the face of deep divisions over policy.

"Voters made it real clear that they want this done by the June 1 deadline," Lutz said. "Anyone who doesn't get that is taking on a big risk."
Republicans can rest assured that the Texas Parent PAC will be watching.


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