AUSTIN - The third special session of the 78th Legislature adjourned Sunday evening, ending the long debate over congressional redistricting and government reorganization. The final version of the new congressional map passed the Texas House of Representatives by a vote of 76-58 and the Texas Senate by 17-14. The 138th District of the Texas House, which is represented by Dwayne Bohac, remains virtually unchanged as does much of Houston.
"Since the Legislature first met to consider redistricting more than 150 years ago, it has always been a divisive issue," said Bohac. "This year was no different. Now is the time for us to put this behind us, rise above divisive partisan politics and focus on the important issues that face our state, such as school finance reform and much-needed property tax relief."
Governor Rick Perry is expected to call a new special session on school finance in the spring of 2004 following the March primary election. The Texas Legislature recently voted to put an end to the current "Robin Hood" system that has come under fire in recent years for shifting money out of school districts deemed "property rich" to others around the state. Spring Branch Independent School District has just become one of those districts that now sends money back to Austin to be redistributed to another district.
"I believe Spring Branch money ought to stay in Spring Branch. We cannot continue with the broken Robin Hood scheme. The state must carry more of the burden and not rob from local school districts," continued Bohac.
"We have an opportunity and a responsibility to adopt a new school finance plan that gives the public education system the resources that it needs to provide the children of Texas with a first-rate education," concluded Bohac.
"We also have to make sure the state lives up to its constitutional obligation to fund public education and hold school districts accountable to spend taxpayer money wisely."