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April 20, 2004     (512) 463-0300

Senator Jeff Wentworth of Bexar County thanks his family for their support after being named President Pro Tempore
Senator Jeff Wentworth of Bexar County thanks his family for their support after being named President Pro Tempore

Senate Gavels in Fourth Special Session

AUSTIN - The Texas State Senate began the fourth special session of the 78th Legislature today to address the state's public school finance system as well as property tax assessment reform. The session was called by the Governor on April 15, 2004. The Governor's call permits the Senate to consider legislation relating to public school finance reform and property tax revenues, as they relate to education finances. The call also allows for legislation that would cap property tax increases, redirect tax revenues toward public education,
Senator Craig Estes delivers the opening prayer for the fourth special session of the 78th Legislature
Senator Craig Estes delivers the opening prayer for the fourth special session of the 78th Legislature
and increase cigarette and tobacco taxes for additional revenue. In an post-session press conference, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst pointed out that Senate committees have been meeting since last year in an effort to find the most current information available regarding education. The Lieutenant Governor promised a strong, bi-partisan effort from the Senate to reform the state's public education funding system.

In session today, the Senate elected Bexar County Senator Jeff Wentworth as president pro tempore. The president pro tempore of the Senate serves as the presiding officer of the body whenever the Lieutenant Governor is out of the state. As president pro tem, Wentworth is third in line for the Governorship of Texas, and assumes that office whenever both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are out of state.

The Senate is in recess until 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 27th.

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Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.