Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

Tuesday, May 6, 2003
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez
Phone: (512) 463-0127

Statement from Senator Lucio regarding passage of House Bill 5
The School Finance Plan

Im not sure that this revenue source (cutting property taxes; increasing sales taxes) is the best route to take, but obviously, this is a different avenue. This is one way to eliminate Robin Hood, and as controversial as it is, we will find out if the elimination of Robin Hood and passage of this new system was the right thing to do. I pray that it is. We have no choice but to live within the means of this state, and we are doing the best we can at this time.

I personally feel that we are taking a major step in the right direction. But we need to address the facilities bonds issue, otherwise our children will continue to be taught in portable buildings instead of permanent structures. When we do have money available, we must address the facilities bonds issue. Every child deserves a good learning environment.

Additionally, we must address the inequity gap between property poor and property wealthy districts. That was the intent of my proposed amendments to the bill, and although the amendments failed, I feel secure in knowing that the author, Senator Florence Shapiro, expressed that it is her intention to close the gap between poor and rich school districts.

I commend Lt. Governor Dewhurst for addressing this difficult issue with leadership and vision.