Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Davis Rankin and Aaron Pena on School Finance

I was just listening to KURV. Davis Rankin interviewed State Rep. Aaron Pena about the special session coming up in April. The Rep. says that right now, everybody is cautious in Austin. The legislature is led by Republicans, so tax increases are not favored. Their biggest problem will be getting dems to assist and vote for a plan, any plan. Can they come up with enough votes to advance a plan? Democrats will be necessary in this session. Legislature is very partisan because of redistricting where officials have solid Democrat or Republican bases.

What I got out of the interview is that the infighting within the Texas Republican Party is an obstacle to the majority party coming up with an agreable solution. So, the Governor and those in his favor will have to be more inclusive of dems in this session. Rick Perry needs a solution to come out of Austin.

As writen in another post, lawyers are willing to pay taxes for their labors. However, it sounds like they will only do it if other businesses that are exempt will do it. In my opinion, they'll do it if the legislature requires it; I don't see that they have any say. In any case, it seems like alternative sources of revenue will be the only way to raise money while not increasing taxes.

Aaron did note that even though there will be a $6 Billion surplus in the state's coffers resulting from the increased prices of gasoline, he and maybe other lawmakers are not that keen on using it for school finance because it would only solve a short-term problem. We cannot rely on that surplus for future needs because it may not be there. So, The Rep. is more interested in a long-term solution to school finance.

Davis Ranking and The Rep talked about some other stuff, but they overflowed my memory buffer, so this is all I got out of it.

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