Texas Legislature - Education
3:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

House Democrats Holding Out Over Education Funding On State Budget Bill

After meeting for hours behind closed doors, House Democratic leaders declined the Republican deal on the state’s budget bill.  

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, the vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus, said House Democrats are unified in their stance against the budget in its current form, which promises $3.2 billion for education funding.

"What we were told yesterday morning by the leadership, the governor, was that we spend too much money on education. The governor is lobbying Republican members to vote 'no' on education and the maximum they are willing to do is to put $3.2 billion to restore the formula. That is going back on the agreement that was reached on Friday," Turner said.

He said Democrats were willing to vote "yes" on a bill that funds water infrastructure and uses the Rainy Day Fund, and "yes" on a bill that raises the spending cap if Republicans provided schools with $3.9 billion in state funds.

Turner said Democrats have been threatened with the passage of other bills if they are unwilling to vote for the state’s budget .

"And if you don’t its going get worse, and as they put it: 'We are going to give you fetal pain and we are going to give you abortion and we are going to give you all these other social issues that you don't like, and we are going to make it worse for you in the special session,'" Turner said.

The group of Senate and House members deciding the precise dollar amount for each area of state spending is currently meeting in an attempt to reach a compromise.