Thursday, July 07, 2005

The First Step Off the Cliff

House Bill 3, the "finance" part of school finance, passed on third reading this afternoon 70 to 69. If the bill had failed, it would have probably ended the special session. Oh well.

The bill barely passed on second reading last night. Most of the brave Republicans who voted against this stinker of a bill the first time around held fast. HB 3 currently does next to nothing to increase funding for education while raising taxes on 80 percent of Texans. There were two Republicans who flipped: Rep. Brian McCall (R-Plano) and Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker). If they had voted against the bill, it would have been all over but the shouting.

Now HB 3 goes on to the Senate. As noted in today's Dallas Morning News, back in March when the House passed a similar bill (that ultimately died) to raise the sales tax by a penny and shift the tax burden onto the middle class, Dewhurst said: "People would march in the streets with signs if we did that and I would join them."