Texas GOP leaders on Thursday announced plans to pass a bill that would slash funding for public education and cut public safety funding by up to 60 percent, but the measure faces major obstacles in the Senate.
In a letter to Republican lawmakers, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrote that the bill would reduce funding for the Texas Education Agency by $8 billion over five years.
Cruz said he was working with Democratic leaders in the state to craft a compromise, but he also said that a vote on the bill could come as soon as next week.
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“In the coming weeks, we will continue to work together to craft the bill that will provide the best public safety and education outcomes for the citizens of Texas,” Cruz said.
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In the letter, Cruz said the bill passed by the Senate in March “is a step forward” but noted that the legislation is “in the middle of a budget battle” in the House.
The state Senate will take up the bill on Thursday and then head to the House to make a final decision, according to state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, R-Houston.
But Cruz told reporters that the House would likely pass the measure, while the Senate would likely vote against it.
Garcia also said she had not spoken to Cruz about a possible compromise.
“He has not told me that he would support that,” Garcia said.
Texas has seen an uptick in violence and homicides in recent years, particularly during the school year.
The Tribune reported in August that at least 16 people had been killed in the Texas City school district during the first three months of the school calendar.
The district reported that a high school student killed a 17-year-old in the cafeteria in May.