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3 rd Annual TACS Annual Conference San Antonio – September 7-9, 2014 1.

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Presentation on theme: "3 rd Annual TACS Annual Conference San Antonio – September 7-9, 2014 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 3 rd Annual TACS Annual Conference San Antonio – September 7-9,

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3  Very few legislative offices have the resources to hire staff dedicated solely to education issues.  Legislative offices have limited budgets to run their Capitol and District offices:  Senators receive $38,000 month or $456,000 year.  House members receive $13,250 a month or $159,000 a year.  SDs: 811,150 vs.HDs: 167,600 residents.  Many offices use unpaid or low-paid interns as session only employees – typically college/law/public affairs students building their résumés.  Time demands on legislators & staff – 140-day regular session to get it all done; however, internal rules & deadlines crunch time demands even further. 3

4  All new statewide office holders; first time since  Large turnover in Senate – at least 7 (23%) new members; could be 9 (29%).  20-year average turnover rates: 27 (18%) in House; 3 (9.6%) in Senate.  Averaged over last two election cycles, higher turnover: 38 (25%) in House; 4 (13%) in Senate.  Majority of House members (76 – 51%) are currently either freshmen or sophomores.  28% of Senate & 24% of House Committees – their Chairs are not returning including Finance, HAC & Senate Ed. 4

5 Senate changes – at least 7 new Senators; 5 drew two-year terms after redistricting in 2011 and drawing for terms in the 2013 session:  John Carona (R, Dallas – SD 16) – lost primary election; first session was in 1991  Wendy Davis (D, Fort Worth – SD 10) – candidate for governor; first session was in 2009  Robert “Bob” Deuell (R, Greenville – SD 2) – lost primary election; first session was in 2003  Dan Patrick (R, Houston – SD 7) – candidate for lieutenant governor; first session was in 2007  Ken Paxton (R, McKinney – SD 8) – candidate for attorney general; first session was in 2003 The following Senators drew four-year terms; two have resigned to go to work for systems of higher education and two have four-year terms but are running for higher office:  Tommy Williams (R, The Woodlands – SD 4) – Vice-Chancellor for Federal and State Relations for the Texas A&M University System; first session was in 1997  Robert Duncan (R, Lubbock – SD 28) – Chancellor for the Texas Tech University System; first session was in 1993  Glenn Hegar (R, Katy – SD 18) – candidate for comptroller of public accounts; first session was 2003  Leticia Van de Putte (D, San Antonio – SD 26) – candidate for lieutenant governor; first session was

6 Current partisan balance:  19 – Republicans (61%)  12 – Democrats (39%)  Senate rules currently require a 2/3 “vote” or 21 votes to bring up bills for floor debate. Things could affect this balance:  If Senator Patrick chosen as lieutenant governor, he’s vowed to eliminate or change the 2/3 rule. Opponents to its elimination say it forces the members to work together.  SD 10 (currently a “D,” could switch to an “R”)  Potentially, the Senate could be losing 126 years of experience. 6

7  103 (69%) out of 150 of House races already decided.  47 contested races; however, incumbents should easily win about 37 races.  There are only about 10 seats that are truly contested with Ds & Rs on ballot and no clear victor at this point.  Balance of power between Rs (95 – 63%) & Ds (55 – 37%) won’t change much.  At least 23 freshmen; loss of 230 years of experience. 7

8  Lack of experience:  83 rd : 41 (27%)House & 5 (16%) Senate freshmen.  82 nd : 35 (23%)House & 2 (6%) Senate freshmen.  Currently, a majority (76 – 50.6%) of House members are in first or second term.  Currently, 7 (22.5%) of Senators are in first or second term.  New Lieutenant Governor.  House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio, HD 121) will be the “elder” statesman going in to his 4 th term as Speaker. 8

9 The outgoing 7 Senators were either Chairs (C) or Vice-Chairs (V-C):  John Carona (R, Dallas – SD 16) – C - Business & Commerce  Wendy Davis (D, Fort Worth – SD 10) – V-C - Economic Development  Robert “Bob” Deuell (R, Greenville – SD 2) – C - Eco-Devo; V-C - HHS  Dan Patrick (R, Houston – SD 7) – C - Education  Ken Paxton (R, McKinney – SD 8) – V-C - Transportation  Tommy Williams (R, The Woodlands – SD 4) – C – Finance  Robert Duncan (R, Lubbock – SD 28) – C – State Affairs If these Senators (candidates for higher office) lose their races, they return to the Senate next year:  Glenn Hegar (R, Katy – SD 18) – C – Nominations; running for CPA  Leticia Van de Putte (D, San Antonio – SD 26) – C – Veterans Affairs & Military Installations; running for Lt. Gov. 9

10  23 House members not returning:  6 ran for higher office; 3 lost their primary race for higher office; 2 advanced: Creighton won special election to replace Senator Williams; Taylor running to replace Senator Paxton who is running for AG; and, Perry is on the ballot today (09/09) to replace Senator Duncan and has withdrawn his name from the general election ballot.  7 retired  9 defeated in primary elections  1 resigned  9 were Committee chairs  5 were Committee vice-chairs  Additionally, Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) will resign after November election to run for mayor in May Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has announced she will run for SD 18 if Senator Hegar wins race for comptroller of public accounts. 10

11  General Appropriations Act – state budget  School finance –  System declared unconstitutional by state district judge;  Order stayed until July 1, 2015;  State will appeal to the Texas Supreme Court;  Hearing will probably be after November elections and start of 84 th session in January (01/13/2015 – 19 weeks);  Attitude among most legislators will be “let’s not do anything until directed to by the Supremes.”  Possible ruling mid-session – if ruling upheld, will there be time to craft new system? (Hint: don’t plan any June vacations.)  Others: accountability, assessments, ESCs, expansion of charters/choice/vouchers. 11

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13  Tips to keep in mind:  You are the education professional.  They need you to share your experience & expertise.  Often, legislators & staff “don’t know what they don’t know.”  Share critical information about the district: finance status; student body; growth or no growth; accountability ratings; trends and projections; education associations the district belongs to; key personnel & contact information; give them info packet or flash drive with key information included.  When providing information, don’t overwhelm with education jargon and acronyms.  Invite them to your district – bring out the dogs & ponies. Tell your story (warts & all); save surprises for birthdays.  Don’t threaten with future electoral challenges if the legislators vote differently than you wanted – agree to disagree on issues if necessary.  Pledge to work together to find common ground on other issues. 13

14  Tips to keep in mind:  Visit District and Capitol offices regularly – before, during and after legislative session; however, don’t “camp out” in their offices while you wait for a hearing to begin or bill to be heard.  Don’t wait to make special requests: local bills; resolutions; flags; visits.  Be flexible, if possible.  Keep them informed about the affect of proposed legislation & finance proposals will have on your district – base your position on what is best for your school district. Be specific on how proposals will affect your district – either positively or negatively – backup with facts and data.  Inform them of your position before proposed legislation comes up in a hearing or is scheduled for a vote. Alert them if you are testifying and your position, particularly if you are testifying against a bill filed by your legislator.  Remember that legislators, for the most part, only want to hear from their own constituents.  Do not send form letters, petitions, robo-calls or form “ blasts.”  Remember to say “thank you” to members & staff. 14

15  Texas Legislature On-line – track bills & listen to hearings:  Legislative Budget Board – Public Education – bEd bEd  LBB Fiscal Notes - how much does that bill cost?  Legislative Reference Library – daily news clips:  State Preservation Board - plan your visit: 15

16  Senate Research Center -  House Research Organization -  Texas Legislative Council -  Sunset Advisory Commission – TEA limited scope review (staff report: October; testimony: November; and SAC decisions: December) and UIL (SAC decisions in 08/2014) - https://www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports https://www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports 16

17 17 “ “Do more than is required but less than allowed.” Told members: “Okay to run as an R or a D, but when you walk in to this Chamber and on to the floor, leave the partisanship at the Chamber door. Vote your District; remember the people who sent you.” James E. “Pete” Laney Texas House of Representatives – (Speaker)

18 Trish Conradt TACS Legislative Assistant Office – Cell –


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