Texas House members spent hours Wednesday debating a landmark school finance bill geared to pump billions of new dollars into schools across the state and give teachers and most full-time school employees raises.
In the end, almost all of the House members approved House Bill 3, which was described by House Speaker Dennis Bonnen as “transformative.”
The one exception: state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.
“My constituents sent me to Austin to get real property tax relief, to end Robin Hood, and put more dollars into the classrooms of HD92,” Stickland told Texas Scorecard, a political website, after the vote.
“Unfortunately, the bill presented in front of us today failed to meet that charge, and I could not in good conscience vote for it, regardless of any political consequences.”
Stickland, a Republican firebrand known for vocally opposing House leadership, told the Star-Telegram last year that he was going to try a new approach this session — and not be the political bomb-thrower he has been in recent years.
The bill approved Wednesday on a 148-1 vote includes an extra $9 billion for Texas schools, boosts the minimum funding per student, reduces the amount many schools pay into the so-called Robin Hood funding plan and more.
The measure now heads to the Texas Senate.
The legislative session ends May 27.