HEADLINES : Texas
Must-pass budget bill revived and approved by House
After the drama of a surprise no-vote on a must-pass budget bill, House Republicans reconsidered their vote and sent the budget bill to the Governor's desk for his approval.
The House voted to reconsider their previous vote, 96-44. The bill was passed by a vote of 80-57.
Rep. Phil King said that concerns raised by the Eagle Forum, a conservative Christian lobby group, had given many Republicans second thoughts about SB1. The Eagle Forum's concerns related to provisions that affect charter schools.
King, who has influence with some of the Tea Party freshmen, also said that he had some concerns about an unfunded mandate being levied against rural counties. He said that those concerns had been answered.
The bill contains the public school finance overhaul, which uses a new, complicated formula to equitably distribute the $4 billion reduction in expected funding. It also contains provisions that balance the state budget, which is mandated by the Texas Constitution.
Earlier in the afternoon, the House rejected the must-pass fiscal matters bill by a vote of 64-79. The legislation is key to balancing the budget, which is required by the Texas Constitution.