In the end, this was no surprise.
An amendment from Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, that would have directed surplus money from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for enrollment growth in public schools has perished in conference committee.
The House voted to attach the measure, which Howard argued was a practical approach that would allow Republican members to maintain their pledges to protect the savings account while providing what could be an extra $2 billion to public education, to SB 2 — an omnibus appropriations bill critical to balancing the budget.
After outcry from fiscal conservatives, however, the lower chamber passed a resolution to strip the amendment when the bill went to conference committee to resolve key differences between the House and Senate versions.
“I am disappointed that the conference committee allowed the demands of a few unduly influential activists, as well as the political ambitions of Governor Rick Perry, to eclipse the needs of our schoolchildren,” Howard wrote in an email, “My amendment was a common-sense compromise that would have left existing rainy day funds ‘in the bank’ while still providing the necessary funding to cover a rapidly-growing student population and investing in the future economic prosperity of our state.”
See here and here for the background. There needs to be quotation marks around “fiscal conservatives” in that penultimate paragraph. There are many words that can describe this, but there’s nothing conservative about failing to invest in one’s future. At least the Republicans have made it as clear as they can where their priorities aren’t.