"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
[Author's Note: Never forget, the Democrats in the Texas House are Joe Straus' cat's paw.]
There is a quite obviously focused-grouped talking point we've been hearing with increasing frequency over the past month: "Kitchen Table Agenda."
A couple days ago, the Trib and the Democrats let the cat out of the bag:
Minutes later, a group of Democrats from the Texas House criticized what they characterized as an embrace of divisiveness in the Senate and promised to focus on what they characterized as "kitchen table" matters.Translation: Pour more money down the rathole of existing bureaucracies without asking for anything in return.
"We have been the grownups" in the Legislature, said Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin. "We are going to continue to be the grownups."
The Democrats, meanwhile said they'd focus on reforming the state's school finance system, improving access to health care and making it easier for residents to register to vote and cast a ballot on election day.
Many Democrats and school officials had been hoping that the Supreme Court of Texas would rule that the state's method of funding schools is unconstitutional, forcing the state to take on the political perilous task of rebuilding it. That didn't happen, though the court did say the system was problematic and should be fixed.
Such a fix was notably absent from Patrick's list of priorities. But Democrats listed it near the top.
"We know that the school finance system is broken," said Rep. Mary González, D-Clint. "We know that, as the Supreme Court said, we need transformational change."
One key way to do that is for the state to send more money to the school districts, which would ease the property tax burden that homeowners pay to fund K-12 education, Democrats said. Howard, for instance, said she filed a bill on Monday that would force the state to pay at least half of the cost of education each year.
Read the whole thing here.