CONFEREES MEETING ENDS WITH NO RESOLUTION – Quorum Report "The Buzz".
Texas House and Senate members are locked in a stalemate on what to do about funding (or, more accurately, cutting) public education. Your typical member, Republican and Democrat, is catching absolute and deserved hell from their constituents. Because both parties lied to the people of Texas by not making the $27B deficit a front and center issue in the last Governor's race. Carole Strayhorn was right in her 2006 letter to Rick Perry, calling him on the plan to write a "hot check", predicting a $24B shortfall this year. But it was both parties that let him get away with it.
Both parties also managed to make a mockery of the Sunset Review process that failed to rein in agencies under extreme influence of industry special interests from TxDOT to TCEQ to the Texas Water Development Board. It is truly a theater of the absurd. Watch this 6 minute KHOU-TV report this week on how the TCEQ allowed water companies to alter reports on how much radioactivity is in their water!
Yesterday, the lege passed a bill to signal to the Texas Supreme Court that groundwater should be commodified and sold to the highest bidder and to forget about local control. And do you believe that in the midst of a personal data breach of 3.5 million Texans, the Comptroller continues to push for a subsidy for the billionaires at the Formula 1 race track?
As Rick Perry tests the water for a potential presidential run touting the so-called "Texas miracle", millions of ordinary Texans see the nightmare on the horizon. These people are playing with people's lives. They haven't a clue (nor a care, apparently) as to how much pain they will inflict on students, the elderly, the disabled and everyone in this state who must do real work to pay their rent or mortgages, and to simply feed their families. And it was all for nothing. They could have fixed this budget problem by closing loopholes on property and oil and gas taxes, but they refused.
What can you do? Call your legislators tomorrow. Deliver them this simple message: Hello, my name is ________. I don't know all there is to know about all the bills you are working on, but I want you to know that I am going to see the results of your work next Tuesday. It will be the report card from the independents. They're going to look at how much you supported cutting the little people, while the big people and corporate lobbyists got all the breaks. Thank you — I'll be back in touch.
On the water front we have two things for you:
1. An interview with our friend, Phil Cook, following the strategic battle in central Texas over the "Trans-Texas Water Highway". This fascinating interview shows the various forces fighting over who gets their hands on the "Simsboro" portion of the great Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer.
CHECK OUT THE MAP!
2. An enlightening piece in the Houston Chronicle by Austin attorney and rancher, Malcolm Harris, about the passage of SB 332 — for "vested" ownership rights of groundwater.
Fed up! Get active, contribute or do something will ya?!
We will send you a report of the good, bad and the ugly next week after the session ends on Monday.
Join us on the next statewide conference call on Monday, June 6th at 8 pm OR join us at a face-to-face meeting on Saturday, June 11th, in Bastrop from 2-4 pm, at the Bastrop Library. We will discuss the session and where we're going from here.
Call us as 512-535-0989 or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.