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Ogden, Straus Differ On Texas State Budget Progress

Senate budget writer Steve Ogden isn't sure an agreement can be reached.
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune
Senate budget writer Steve Ogden isn't sure an agreement can be reached.

GOP members of the House left a caucus meeting this afternoon without divulging details of what they discussed or whether they might take up crucial fiscal bills on the floor. Meanwhile, Senate Finance Chair Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, says there is still no consensus on education funding or SB 1811, a revenue bill that would balance the state budget. "So, we're stuck," he said. 

Ogden says he heard the House will not take up SB 1811 today as previously scheduled. 

"And if you don't pass 1811 and you don't pass the school bill, the Senate cannot pass a budget," he said, adding the budget conference committee needs to see those bills before the process can move forward. 

"The fact that neither bill is moving means that a special session is a certainty," Ogden said. He told reporters that House members have told him the bills contain hundreds of amendments that House members do not want to vote on. 

"It's politics at its worst, is what it is," Ogden said before walking away. 

As soon as House members re-convened on the floor, House Speaker Joe Straus walked into a closed-door meeting. As members of the press trailed him, the speaker said, "We're close and we've been close, but we're not there." 

Straus was asked whether education spending is the sticking point. He nodded his head before closing the door. 


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Thanh Tan is a multimedia reporter/producer for The Texas Tribune. She previously worked at Idaho Public Television, a PBS station that serves a statewide audience. While there, she was an Emmy award-winning producer/reporter/host for the longest-running legislative public affairs program in the West, Idaho Reports, moderator of The Idaho Debates, and a writer/producer for the flagship series Outdoor Idaho. Prior to joining IdahoPTV, she was a general assignment reporter at the ABC affiliate in Portland, OR and a political reporter for KBCI-TV in Boise, ID. Her work has also appeared on the PBS NewsHour and This American Life. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with degrees in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism.