Monday, May 30, 2011

Last minute filibuster foils GOP school finance bill

Lt. Governor pushes for law banning "sanctuary cities" in Texas

Austin – Legislators will go into special session to pass a school finance plan through a simple majority vote.

Senate Democrats filibustered the GOP-backed bill that would have stripped school financing of more than $25 billion in state funding as Republicans failed to get the required 60% assent state senators by a factor of 6 votes. Lawmakers labored through the Memorial Day holiday in an attempt to reach an accord on the controversial issue of trimming a massive budget deficit.

Under the rules governing special sessions, a simple majority will suffice to send the education spending plan to the Governor's desk for approval.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said he will suggest that Governor Rick Perry should add a Sanctuary Cities element to the special session as a companion to school financing. Under the terms of proposed legislation, Texas cities would no longer have the privilege of declaring the immigration status of people police detain with probable cause as off limits to law enforcement inquiries.

Police would be allowed to detain persons they have reasonable suspicion to believe are in the U.S. illegally until Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have time to collect them for deportation proceedings.

The sanctuary city policy of San Francisco has thrown local officials into a tizzy. In an attempt to comply with the city's sanctuary policy, Sheriff Mike Hennesy plans to let illegal aliens out of jail as quickly as possible, citing them to return to court, regardless of their immigration status.

Mr. Hennesy said his new policy is is his attempt to comply with the city's sanctuary city law.

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