Tuesday, February 19, 2019

#TXLEGE: Freedom Caucus unveils priorities (while Swanson has hearing on debt transparency bill)

"Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes;
But by a man of understanding and knowledge
Right will be prolonged."
Proverbs 28:2

The Texas Freedom Caucus unveiled its priorities for the current legislative session:

  • Same top priority as everyone else -- Property taxes/school finance.
  • Austin ISD + Plano ISD will pay $900 million into Robin Hood just by themselves.
  • Merit pay for teachers.
  • "Our hearts are broken by the actions of the New York legislature." re: Abortion.
    • Several related priorities.
  • Pass Constitutional Carry/oppose "Red Flag" laws.
  • Uniform Election Dates.
  • Paper trail for ballot results.
  • Religious liberty.
  • Border stuff.
  • Expand career and trade schools.
  • Ban taxpayer funded lobbying.
It's a solid list.  It's basically the RPT priorities, plus some others added by the grassroots.  That being said, as someone who served on the committee, this author can assure readers that most of these items would have been RPT priorities had the committee not been limited to five.

However, the biggest story was who was not there.  Valoree Swanson had to miss the press conference...because she was laying out a bill in committee.  If you're looking for a sign things are moving in a better direction at the Capitol, the fact that Valoree Swanson is laying out a bill in February is a pretty good one.

Swanson's bill was a simple debt transparency bill that would restrict the number of items school districts can put on a bond proposition:
HB 134             Swanson                 
Relating to the form of ballot propositions in an election seeking authorization for the issuance of school district bonds supported by property taxes.
Putting it mildly, that bill does not get a hearing last session (especially in February).

Bottom Line: The process will continue, but today was a good day....

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