LAWMAKERS AT ODDS OVER SCHOOL FINANCE

State lawmakers are back at work today (Saturday) in Austin during the special legislative session, but the Texas House and Senate are far apart on the issue of school finance reform.

Friday the Senate Education Committee stripped $1.5 billion from the original House proposal on public school funding over the next two years.  The original House bill proposed to spend $1.8 billion, while the Senate version only calls for $311 million.  The full Senate is expected to vote on their new version of the bill today (Saturday), and return it to the House.

On another issue, the Texas House yesterday (Friday) gave preliminary approval to a bill that would make it tougher for cities to annex surrounding property.  The proposal lets residents of the area vote on whether they want to be annexed.  Final House approval could come today (Saturday), with the Senate then considering the bill.