Dave McNeely: Will Texas lawmakers invest or cut taxes?

As the Texas Legislature kicked off its 140-day regular biennial session, the state’s top three leaders were touting the same message: Texas ain’t Washington.

Republican Joe Straus, just re-elected to a third term as House speaker, bragged that, “In the Texas House, we don’t put the Republicans on one side of the room and the Democrats on the other.”

Unlike Washington, “we work with our colleagues, regardless of party,” said Straus, who became speaker in 2009 with near-unanimous Democratic help to oust Republican predecessor Tom Craddick.

Dewhurst: Put Some Money Aside for School Lawsuits

by Ross Ramsey and Aman Batheja January 10, 2013 The Texas Legislature should prepare for a probable negative judgment in its ongoing school finance lawsuits by socking away money in the next budget to comply with a future court order, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday. “I think you have to hold some of it back […]

Austin superintendent testifies in ongoing school finance trial

Austin school district Superintendent Meria Carstarphen on Monday swatted down arguments from a state lawyer that the district had ample financial wiggle room to deal with its share of the $5.4 billion budget cuts enacted by the Legislature last year.

During testimony in the ongoing school finance trial, Carstarphen said the district has been doing its best given the changing student demographics, including more students with limited English skills, at a time of increasing state academic standards.

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