Texas Legislature Mulls Over Tax Cuts and Education Bills

A quick look at what’s coming up this week.

By Veronica ZeragoviaApril 13, 2015 8:06 am

Members of the Texas Legislature have a long week ahead of them. Several contentious bills and discussions are scheduled to take place in the statehouse this week.

Lawmakers – and the public – will have a say on a House bill that would put an extra $3 billion into school funding. That’s more than double what the state Senate has proposed.

The bill comes from State Representative Jimmie Don Aycock, the chair of the Public Education Committee. Aycock says House Bill 1759 would allocate billions to public schools, while removing provisions used to protect schools from short-term funding losses. But lawmakers are waiting for the Texas Supreme Court to rule on how the state funds its schools. It’s reviewing a lawsuit originally filed by more than 600 school districts after the legislature slashed billions in funding for schools. A lower court ruled against the state.

Also on Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee will talk tax cuts. State Representative Dennis Bonnen, an Angleton Republican, is the author of two bills on the list. One would cut the sales tax rate, and the other, the franchise tax rate. But Senate Republicans, including lieutenant governor Dan Patrick, say their priority this session is to cut property taxes.

Meanwhile, Senator Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, says the full Senate may debate the $211.4 billion proposed state budget bill on Tuesday.