Budget Update: Ogden Says They're Stuck; Straus Says They're Close

As of Wednesday afternoon, two powerful budget figures differed on the status of the budget process.

State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, speaks to the press after the Senate session on May 16, 2011.

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. 

 

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