PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2004
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124

Fraser Calls Special Session Productive, But Says More Time Needed

AUSTIN -- State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, today said he believes the Senate made major progress toward reaching a consensus on funding public education, but that more time is needed before a final agreement can be reached.

"This session was very productive, but we just ran out of time," Fraser said. "I think we advanced the ball and got it near the goal line, and I think we'll eventually be successful. We just need a little more time to reach a consensus."

Fraser this morning urged Gov. Rick Perry not to immediately call lawmakers back for another session when the 4th called session expires next Wednesday. Instead, he encouraged the governor to give Senate and House members more time to develop a consensus on a bill that could win approval in both chambers.

"We have a much better understanding of where all the members stand, and what's acceptable and not acceptable to them," Fraser said. "From my perspective, we made major progress this session."

Fraser said he was particularly encouraged by the Senate's progress over the past three days, as it worked toward a plan that would have reduced school property taxes by one third. The loss of property tax revenues would have been made up a broader consumption tax, as well as a modified business franchise tax.

The proposed changes to the franchise tax would broadened the base of collection, but reduce the rate from 4.5 percent to 2 percent.

"There's a delicate balance between the wishes and needs of the property tax payers needing relief, and the need for additional and equitable funding for our public schools," Fraser said. "We're better positioned now to solve this problem than we were on April 20 when the session began."

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