Friday, April 5, 2013

Two of Wilco's Three GOP Reps Vote with Republican Party Platform, Updated

During yesterday's session in the Texas House, legislators took up SB1-crafting a state budget.  However, Democrat Representative Abel Herrero offered up an amendment that would thwart any education reform attempts that end the government monopoly over K-12 education.  Williamson County Representatives Tony Dale and Larry Gonzales both voted against the Democrat amendment, but Representative Marsha Farney sided with Herrero.  Because of Farney and other defections, the amendment passed.

The issue of school choice has been strongly advocated by Republican voters; last year GOP primary voters approved a school choice proposition by a whopping 85%.  Furthermore, both the RNC's and the Republican Party of Texas' Platforms calls for parental choice in education: 
We encourage the Governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options which fund the student, not schools or districts, to allow maximum freedom of choice in public, private, or parochial education for all children.
I cannot speak to the other defectors, but I think part of the problem here is that Farney was unopposed in the Primary.  With out opposition, candidates cannot be properly vetted.  Whether it is for the city council, school board, or state legislature, primary debates allow voters to understand where candidates stand on the issues.  

If you live in House District 20, consider  contacting Representative Farney to let her know how you feel about this vote.  (Please always remember to be respectful and polite- it's much more effective.) 

On one very faint bright note, the House reversed itself on an amendment to embrace Obamacare with a state Medicaid expansion.  Early in the day, in a confusing series of actions, legislators had actually approved another Democrat plan for expansion.  The amendment was reconsidered and withdrawn, but the flailing about and approval of so many left-wing amendments led to Texas Public Policy Action withdrawing support for the proposed budget.  

Not an encouraging day for liberty-minded folks.     

Correction:  Originally, I had stated that Farney voted against the Medicaid expansion amendment, but according to the Texas Legislature Online, she initially voted for embracing ObamacareWhen the measure was reconsidered, she voted against it.   

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