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Texas House Speaker Craddick Denies Much Opposition to HB 2

By Jennifer Bendery,

Austin, TX –

"I haven't heard a lot" of criticisms of the bill, said House Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) today in response to questions regarding complaints from some legislators about HB 2. Craddick said he has seen "an extremely positive response" from legislators in recent meetings regarding the school finance reform bill proposed by Rep. Kent Grusendorf (R-Arlington). "Overall, the bill has been very acceptable to most members of the House" in both parties, said the Speaker, who indicated he expects HB 2 to be voted out of the House during the first week of March.

When asked for his response to suggestions that there is not enough money being put into the state's education system, Craddick said he didn't think school districts would think there was enough money but legislators need to look at what the state can do.

Craddick also was asked about a possible gas tax being put on the table to fund the state's transportation needs. He clarified that he is not looking at "a straight vote on a gas tax" but at an inflationary index. It is just something legislators "need to look at to fund highways," he said, noting that he recently saw two gas stations on the same street with gas priced at a difference of two cents per gallon.