Democrats have taken control of the Education Budget
It's amazing to watch the debate on the Education Budget. It started off with an amendment by Rep. Noriega - who has eyes on another capitol - to an across-the-board teacher pay raise, which surprisingly passed 90-56. Among these are Reps. Turner and Davis from Clear Lake, both from Houston - the city who's taken a hit for their incentive-based increases. John Davis only won his election with 53% of the vote, and this it's certainly a contentious issue when an HISD superintendent awards himself with $168,000 paycheck...
Then came the voucher debate, which was slightly less climatic than last session. Without Carter Casteel making passionate speeches on looking forward to spending time with her grandchildren, freshman Joe Heflin attached an amendment to ban state funds for voucher programs. Speaker Craddick promptly left the dias after the amendment was adopted.
Currently, Rep. Coleman is trying to attach an amendment to gut Bob Perry's Residential Commission to fund TEXAS Grants, a higher ed student grant program. With the Dems pulling votes, Article III will be interesting for the next few hours. Or days, whatever.