November 2012

Failing the Test

Failing the Test

While good intentions no doubt drove the imposition of the state’s increasingly heavy-handed testing regimen for schools (well, good intentions, plus a big pay-day for a politically connected, London-based publishing firm), righteous outrage from parents and teachers...
Granting More Electric Car Subsidies

Granting More Electric Car Subsidies

Who needs more roads when you can have more electric-car charging stations? A new federal grant is set to build more charging stations along the I-35 corridor in Central Texas at the same time lawmakers in Texas are voicing concerns about lack of gas tax revenue from...

Spending Money to Make Money in Northside ISD

If complicated equations are your thing, it’s likely you’d enjoy the WADA – “weighted average daily attendance” – portion of how Texas does school finance.  School districts are understandably less than fond of this calculation,...
Opting-out of More ObamaCare Burdens

Opting-out of More ObamaCare Burdens

ObamaCare may be destined to become the law of the land, but some states have recognized there’s a way to keep a bad situation from turning even worse. Texas is one of many states refusing to voluntarily take on the burden of setting up federally mandated “healthcare...
Dewhurst Doubles Down

Dewhurst Doubles Down

Photo above by Texas Tribune (5/29/2011) After the Legislative Budget Board meeting two weeks ago, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has gone deeper on record affirming his desire for the State Senate to pass a budget that keeps spending below the rate of population plus...

Broke? Texas school chiefs doing well.

Many economists are warning that we are about to fall into yet another official contraction of the economy. But don’t worry about your almost-sainted it’s-all-for-the-children local public school superintendent. “The average salary for a Texas public school...
Ringing The Tax Bell?

Ringing The Tax Bell?

Cecil Bell Taxpayers learned today they are going to have to keep careful watch on at least one incoming legislator who just seven months ago pledged to oppose “any and all” tax hikes and new taxes. In a panel hosted by the Texas Tribune, incoming State...
Test For Unintended Consequences First

Test For Unintended Consequences First

With the 83rd Legislature quickly approaching, several Republican members of the State Senate have made headlines with a pre-filed bill calling for drug testing of welfare recipients. While the idea of limiting abuse of any taxpayer subsided welfare program is...
Flawed Limit

Flawed Limit

Despite 94 percent of Republican primary voters and 70 percent of Texas voters demanding a limit on government spending to no more than population and inflation, the Legislative Budget Board today voted to let lawmakers exceed that rate for the 2014-15 budget cycle....
First Look at Pre-Filed Bills

First Look at Pre-Filed Bills

Pre-filing for bills in the 83rd Legislature has already begun. Here’s a look at some notable pieces of legislation so far.   Good HB 88 by Bill Callegari – this would set a constitutional limit on the rate of growth of approprations to no more than the sum of...