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Posts Tagged ‘Rep. Rob Eissler’

Texas PTA Legislative Update – Bills of Interest

Posted by Texas Education on February 16, 2009

I read about most of the new assignments in the Chron last week. Sorry for not updating sooner. I am certainly pleased and have been hearing of more and more “interesting” appointments that we can be proud of and happy about:

HOUSE COMMITTEES:
By the numbers – There are 76 Republicans in the Texas House and 74 Democrats. There are 34 committees. Eighteen (18 ) are chaired by Republicans; 16 are Democrats. Fifteen chairmen are in that position for the first time in their legislative careers. There are more Democrat chairs this session, more African-American chairs (5) and Hispanic chairs (4) than two years ago, and the same number of women chairs (7). The number of urban chairs fell by two, while the number of rural chairs fell by four; that balance is now 23 urban, 11 rural. (Texas Weekly)

Rep. Rob Eissler, (R) The Woodlands, returns to the chairmanship of Public Education.
Rep. Jim Pitts, (R) Waxahachie, returns to the chairmanship of Appropriations after losing the chairmanship last session due to his failed attempt to unseat Tom Craddick.

Over the next few days we will identify legislators to carry Texas PTA legislation in the House. We have been awaiting committee announcements before identifying authors for several bills.

For a complete list of committee assignments, visit
http://txpta.org/Legislative%20Articles/2009/February/House%20Committees%202.pdf

TEXAS PTA DAY AT THE CAPITOL:
February 26 is fast approaching and Texas PTA is excited to welcome several key legislators and statewide officeholders to the Centennial Rally at the Capitol. Chairman Jim Pitts, House Appropriations, Chairman Rob Eissler, House Public Education, Chairwoman Jane Nelson, Senate Health and Human Services, Commissioner Todd Staples, Agriculture Commission, Commissioner Larry Soward, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

PRIORITY LEGISLATION:
SB 61, Booster seat bill, has been referred to Senate Transportation. We expect a hearing in the next 2-3 weeks. We have met with key staff for each member of the committee and anticipate smooth sailing in committee.

HB 5, statewide smoke-free bill, was referred to House State Affairs. Unfortunately the makeup of this committee is problematic for our issue. Over the next few days we will be working to develop a strategy to deal with this. In the meantime, we hope to move the Senate version of the bill, SB 544, first. It has been referred to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 144, sales tax expansion bill, has been referred to the Finance Committee in the Senate. This bill is not Texas PTA’s version of the bill. We are working with the author, Sen. Ellis (D) Houston, requesting a substitution of our bill language. In the meantime, we are beginning meetings next week to identify a House sponsor.

HB 339, driver training program revision legislation that includes Texas PTA’s cell phone prohibition by driving teens, has not yet been referred to committee. This bill is carried by Rep. Larry Phillips (R) Sherman. Other bills that deal only with the cell phone use prohibition by driving teens, are expected to be filed in both the House and Senate in the next week to 10 days. Both the House and Senate drafts had to be resubmitted for corrections as they contained exemptions that were unacceptable. Rep. Jose Menendez (D) San Antonio, Sherman, and Sen. Tommy Williams (R) The Woodlands.

LEGISLATIVE REPORTS:
For information on all the bills being tracked by Texas PTA please click on the following links:

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Attending a Legislative Summit

Posted by Texas Education on October 17, 2008

I will be attending an Education Summit tomorrow. This is a local forum so that prior to the legislative session, state lawmakers representing our area will have the opportunity to articulate their responses to issues and to field questions from business leaders, board members, superintendents and other educators in a effort to promote legislative transparency. Sen. Dan Patrick, Rep. Rob Eisler and Rep. Scott Hochberg have been invited to address the audience and a panel of legislators, moderated by KHOU Reporter Wendell Edwards, will discuss business and education challenges as they relate to the upcoming legislative session.

I will post an update here with my findings. Thanks for all the support!

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In-the-News

Posted by Texas Education on June 13, 2008

Well, a few things in the news right now. HISD may open its borders to boost declining enrollment was in the Chronicle recently. (I meant to blog on that sooner.) This, to me, seems like a worthwhile effort to increase enrollment for faltering ISD’s. Especially since enrollment has fallen and they expect it to continue on that path. Board member Manuel Rodriguez says: “This will be a good move to help grow some of the student population.” They have stipulations though, which I also agree is worthwhile, must have good behavior and attendance would be mandatory. I’m not real sure if Humble would be at any advantage on this, as any new students, we create a deficit, as pointed out in Dr. Sconzo’s budget powerpoint. We lose roughly $2,000 for each new student to the district. I’m pretty sure that is the same scenario for most of the districts that are struggling. I found this information on a great website TexasISD.com. Another great place for what’s happening in-the-news. On the legislative page, State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, says, “property taxes and school funding in Texas are worse now than when lawmakers began tinkering with the problems again four years ago.” [ View Article ] Wow, slap me in the face why don’t ya?

Dr. Diane Trautman recently said to me that, “We had the chance two years ago to stop this by voting against Crabb and putting in a pro-education candidate, but no one seemed to understand the urgency two years ago and now here we are at this cross roads. Indeed we must contact our legislators and inform them that their time in office is short unless they put public school funding at the top of the agenda this January! And then vote them out if they don’t!”

So, to all those who are in office, or are running for office, you are on notice, not like I have to tell any of them at this point, Though, it still seems as though Perry, Craddick, Crabb, just to mention a few, still aren’t hearing us, apparently. You can also check out TexasISD.com’s school finance section. Whew, that’s an eye full.

  • Arlington school district faces shortfall of $20 million
  • Corpus Christi: CCISD May Need Extra $200,000 For Gas In 2008-09 School Year
  • Cost of replacing football field adds to Wimberley school money woes
  • Cy-Fair ISD cuts staff, spending – and boy do they have some woes
  • Edcouch-Elsa schools to ask for $4.5 million loan to keep afloat
  • School board cuts become clearer for Humble ISD
  • Ennis: EISD pool will stay closed

Wow! And Rep. Beverly Woolley of House District 136 in the Memorial area said she had been assured by Rep. Rob Eissler of The Woodlands, chairman of the House public schools committee, that school funding would be reviewed when the Legislature convenes in 2009.

“I don’t think there’s even a slight possibility that we would let the school districts become insolvent,” she said.

She said that “as a Republican,” she likes Patrick’s call more funding education from sales tax revenues rather than property tax, but also suggested that school districts need to watch their spending. (this was from the Memorial Examiner on April 18, 2008.)

So, are you trying to tell me ALL of these school districts are not “watching their spending??” When, our school district is working off budgets (the state gave us) from the 1980’s??? I’m just glad I’m not working off a budget from what I was making in the ’80’s.

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