Response to Rep. Harris update
To The Editor:
I appreciated the Daily Sun's coverage of State Rep. Cody Harris' review of the recent Legislative session and I was left wondering about a couple of things.
You state "Historically, Texas had contributed half of the money used for public education. House Bill 3, which became law in June, increased that percentage of state contribution back into the 40 percentile."
That may require further explanation.
Also, the current scandal involving Dennis Bonnen, House Speaker and Dustin Burrows, Republican Caucus Chair was glossed over by stating "..was allegedly taped while speaking candidly..." According to Michael Quinn Sullivan, Empower Texas CEO, he recorded Bonnen and Burrows making a quid pro quo offer of media credentials to Empower Texas in exchange for political targeting of certain Republican members. Recently, Burrows has been forced to resign his position as Caucus Chair and Bonnen is coming under increased pressure to resign. Every Republican Caucus member, which includes Harris, was given a chance to hear the full hour long audio.
It doesn't require a Texas Ranger investigation to know this is unethical and unacceptable. It would seem we have our own Texas swamp down in Austin.
Harris stated "Mr. Bonnen has the experience in the House and a no-nonsense personality. He isn't a game player." I truly hope our freshman Representative has not adopted the philosophy of "go along to get along.”
— Richard Harwell
Editor's Note: Public Education Funding Background Info
• In 2008, education funding was split nearly even at around 44.8% local, 44.9% state and 10.3% federal.
• Prior to the HB 3, those percentages where around 51.5% local, 38.4% state and 10% federal.
• HB 3 increases the state's share of education from 38% to 45%.
• HB 3 ($11.6 billion) provides $6.5 billion in new public education spending, and $5.1 billion devoted to lowering property taxes.