Nearly a year ago Travis County District Judge John Dietz ruled that the system used to fund schools in Texas was unconstitutional, but didn’t reduce that order to writing. The same trial is once again underway but this time with different evidence to consider.
Dietz gave the Texas Legislature another chance to replace the $5.4 billion that was cut from public education funding in the 2011 session.
"It has been the consistent desire of this court to present the most up to date data to the Texas Supreme Court for their consideration," Dietz said.
Freshman state Rep. Scott Turner, a tea party-backed Republican from North Texas who used to play in the NFL, announced that he had filed with the state to be considered for speaker of house in 2015, but one political expert isn’t surprised by the challenge.
Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said this type of tea party challenge against current Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, has happened so often that it has become expected.
Texas Matters: The United States Supreme Court is wrapping up its session and decisions continue to come down. A ruling has been made in a Texas-Oklahoma water dispute, and a decision is expended soon on a case involving the Voting Rights Act, which could have major implications in Texas. Also on this show: An inside look at Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Legislators 2013 list, and a look at how Mexico's drug war killings are effecting both sides of the border.
At the beginning of the special session, several lawmakers representing some of the districts caught up the redistricting fight requested that the hearings be taken on the road, so that those living in these voting districts had a chance to voice their concerns directly.
House Redistricting Chairman Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said the first of three field meetings will be in Dallas this Thursday, June 6. The next two meetings will be held on Monday, June 10 in San Antonio and Wednesday, June 12 in Houston.
Proposals were made by both the Republicans and Democrats in the House, but it is House Bill 3791, the Republican "Texas-ccentric" plan, that is heading to the House floor for a vote.
The plan is to get federal dollars in the form of a block grant that is used to create a state alternative to Medicaid expansion, though the federal government has not said if such a grant will be given.