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TX Rep. Grusendorf Has Response for TX Sen. Hutchison

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX –

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: Call a special session now on public education reform and property tax relief.

Texas State Rep. Kent Grusendorf: Put up or shut up.

When Hutchison took time to briefly answer media questions Monday following the swearing-in ceremony for Priscilla Owen as a new judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, she urged Gov. Rick Perry to quickly call a special session of the Texas Legislature to "finish the job" on priority issues that were not taken care of during the recently-completed regular session of the 79th Legislature - particularly public education reform and property tax relief.

She said a special session should be called to "address not only the inordinately high property taxes in Texas, but also teacher pay raises (and) textbook funding." She further said students and teachers and ordinary Texans "should not be penalized any longer than necessary by the breakdown in Austin."

Arlington Republican Grusendorf, author of HB 2 - the public education reform bill - responded to the senior senator from Texas' viewpoints, adding that he agrees that the education of more than four million students is the most important issue the Legislature faces. However, he apparently was not fond of commentary from an "outsider" who has not spent the last 24 months working "exclusively" on this issue as he said he has.

"I would urge Senator Hutchison, along with any other state leader who wishes to do so, to offer a coherent plan for solving this critical issue. As Governors Bush, Clements, and Richards all learned before, there is nothing as complicated, complex, or challenging as school finance. I know we all want to do what is best for Texas and that's why as Chairman of the House Public Education Committee I can assure Senator Hutchison and others of a prompt public hearing on the specifics of their plan."