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House approves $4B bill to close Medicaid deficit

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013

"There is a bipartisan group to work on school finance to see what we can do for our children ... for this school year, and the next biennium," Pitts explained in asking lawmakers to vote for the emergency Medicaid bill.

A senior Democrat, Rep. Rene Oliveira of Brownsville, confirmed that the group had held a lengthy meeting to discuss a new supplemental bill.

"We are working together in a bipartisan way trying to get that done and the dialogue continues to go on," he said. He added that the group would meet again Thursday afternoon.

Conservative Republicans adamantly oppose spending more money on education, but other Republicans who represent suburban areas don't want to appear indifferent to the issue. House Speaker Joe Straus said over the summer that the Legislature should consider restoring some funding for public schools and provide additional funds in the 2014-2015 budget for school growth.

Lawmakers can spend up to $965 million in the current budget without breaking a constitutional spending cap, and the state has the money available.

House Bill 10 passed Thursday 148-0.



House Bill 10: