If I hadn’t already mentioned this before, this may come as a shock to some of you – but yesterday, the United States Senate actually voted to single out Texas to send a message that it better get in line.
You see, the Governor of Texas had the audacity to tell Washington, “no.” No to education funding that came with Washington strings and that would cost Texans more in the long run. No to unemployment insurance funding that would have come with similar strings and cost. And recently, along with other Texas state officials, no to federal government interference with traditional state authority to regulate oil and gas exploration.
Heaven forbid. Because, don’t you know, Washington is the fountain of all wisdom and virtue – and we must jump when Washington says “jump.” But when we don’t… oh, no… when we don’t, the powers that be along the Potomac decide to proceed like this:
1. Play politics with a War supplemental by including $10 billion in education funding in it;
2. Attach a requirement to that education spending that the Governor of Texas, because he has been out of line and not doing what he is told, must certify (unlike any other state) that the $800 million Texas could receive would not replace state funding, and thus would be additional funding;
3. When the education funding is stripped from the supplemental, proceed in a separate measure to pass it – leaving the same onerous, anti-Texas, arrogant, anti-federalism unprincipled power play.
No thank you. This should be just the beginning. States need to start telling Washington “no,” a lot louder and a lot more often.
Below is the offensive language:
(11) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS.–The following requirements shall apply to the State of Texas:
(A) Notwithstanding paragraph (3)(B), funds used to support elementary and secondary education shall be distributed based on local educational agencies’ relative shares of funds under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) for the most recent fiscal year which data are available. Funds distributed pursuant to this paragraph shall be used to supplement and not supplant State formula funding that is distributed on a similar basis to part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.).
(B) The Secretary shall not allocate funds to the State of Texas under paragraph (1) unless the Governor of the State provides an assurance to the Secretary that the State will for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013 maintain State support for elementary and secondary education at a percentage of the total revenues available to the State that is equal to or greater than the percentage provided for such purpose for fiscal year 2011 prior to the enactment of this Act.
(C) Notwithstanding paragraph (8), no distribution shall be made to the State of Texas or local education agencies therein unless the Governor of Texas makes an assurance to the Secretary that the requirements in paragraphs (11)(A) and (11)(B) will be met, notwithstanding the lack of an application from the Governor of Texas.