CONSERVATIVE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY- AgendaWise Reports
Great new article published today by Weston Hicks with Agenda Wise Reports
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Conservatives have a huge opportunity to improve legislative outcomes during the special session. They’re protected by a Governor itching to go tell the nation about our bold conservative outcomes and a Lieutenant Governor finally convinced he’d better track right in a hurry if he doesn’t want to become the underdog in his next race. The extra attention on Texas is extra attention on these two men, and it plays into conservative hands like it was scripted. By killing the budget on her own, through filibuster, Senator Wendy Davis (D) has gifted Texas conservatives a chance to show their stuff.
Republicans need to bring up the major warts in the old budget. For example, the old budget was still a thinly veiled play on between $3 and $4 billion more of the RDF.
It funded schools in the first year of next biennium at similar levels as the last one, encouraging schools to spend per normal. Then, the 2013 budget is slashed in half. This is quite convenient. The pain is designed to come when the next session comes together to shore up problems from the 2012-2013 session before moving to the 2014-2015 session. Teachers and administrators will be ready to protest since, if they’re unable to raid the Rainy Day Fund, half of them will be fired. It doesn’t take much convincing to mount a major protest in a situation like that.
And remember, moderates are the ones who put the pain squarely on school districts without lifting a finger to find cuts anywhere else. Conservatives, had they been in charge, would have searched hard for cuts elsewhere first. Since they weren’t in charge, they’re proving keeping Texas strong is important enough to teach moderates not to play chicken with teacher jobs next time. Politically-designed funding gimmicks are deceptive and wrong – let moderates and liberals fight for them.
Senator Wendy Davis, a lone wolf Democrat who is probably losing her district in redistricting, chose to stick it to the entire legislature by killing the budget with a filibuster and forcing a special session. This swan song gives her name ID and a brand to run on next time the Republican brand is bad, as it was in 2008. “I’m the brave Democrat Senator who killed that draconian budget in 2010, all by myself.” This would be juice for Wendy Davis, though very liberal juice.
It could also easily go the other way. The budget could get slimmer. In fact, if it doesn’t, she’ll have earned distinction over other Democrats. To work for a bigger budget is to work for Wendy Davis’s political future.
What’s the solution? Add the amount allocated to school districts for both years of the budget, divide by two, and allocate the years evenly. That forces school districts to adjust now, with no legislature in session to protest. Anything less is still effective use of the RDF.
Besides, this special session has to be used by conservatives to get a better deal than they were going to get had Wendy Davis not filibustered; conservatives have no other choice. Otherwise, you give the liberals and moderates another tool for minority rule: as long as they control the House Speakership, they can push the budget until the very end of the session and count on a weak Democrat to take the bullet with a filibuster.
A conservative budget is hope for Texas and others watching. There is the possibility of even more publicity now. It won’t be Wisconsin during the union fight, but Texas conservatives, including Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, could pick up some cache through strength. We need an even better budget to come out of this special session, and one that forces spending changes to happen now. A gimmicky budget that conservatives act gaga about gives others ammo against them.