POSTED: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 3:14pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 3:29pm
AUSTIN, TX - The Texas legislature convened briefly in special session today to take another stab at drastic cuts in public school funding.
The education bill failed to pass in regular session, which adjourned yesterday.
Governor Rick Perry recalled lawmakers as soon as the regular session ended because they failed to pass a bill that would have legally let the state pay public schools $4 billion less than under current law.
"The fact of the matter is we have had a very successful session," said Governor Perry. "We came a long way as we stand here together looking over the things we have done but we still have a bit further to go. This special session is going to be about putting the finishing touches on what we know and perceive as a truly historic legislative session. We passed a budget that cut spending in Texas maintaining our essential services, keeping taxes low and preserving $6 billion in emergency funding that will be very handy if the national economy continues to slump or if we face a major natural disaster."
The bill was tied to the budget so that without it, the state could not distribute about $37 billion to public schools. Governor Perry also wants lawmakers to pass proposed changes to Medicaid, the government's health insurance program for the poor.