By Elsa Maxey
Those representing portions of the Fort Bend County area, Texas State Senators Glenn Hegar, Joan Huffman, Rodney Ellis and Texas State Representatives John Zerwas, Ron Reynolds and Charlie Howard wrapped up 170 days of two legislative sessions. That’s 140 days of the regular session and 30 days in the special session of the 82nd legislative term.
So, what happened?
If you want to hear it first hand from Senator Joan Huffman of District 17 and Senator Glenn Hagar of District 18, there’s a Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Monday, July 11, from11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. that will cost $25, $35 or $40, depending on membership and when you make your reservation. Both senators are scheduled to present an 82nd Legislative Wrap-Up to review the past session.
Reported action by the legislature includes passing required redistricting legislation and many other laws. Favorable accounts indicate that legislators accomplished their goals of balancing the state budget without raising taxes.
As for public school districts, Fort Bend ISD among the others throughout the state had been waiting for the legislature to finalize public school funding. They worked with budget estimates until the state budget was adopted just about at the end of the special session.
As expected by most, the slashes were made. Now plans call for school districts to be allotted funds by adjusting distribution formulas to reflect financial cuts to be spread over two years. Class sizes, we hear, will also be affected. They will be larger.
Last week when the Legislature passed the last of school-related bills, it approved a budget with public school cuts reported to be $4 billion. Those changes in the distribution formula for public schools will mean that the state will send school districts less money than was allowed under the previous law, according to public school financing authorities. Some of this area’s school budgets for next year may have to be revised.