Rep. Raney discusses school vouchers ahead of Texas House reconvening Tuesday

“It is not our place to be told what to do by the Governor, our place is to vote our district, and that’s what I think I did,” Raney said.
KBTX News 3 at Six Weekday EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 8:49 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas House will reconvene Tuesday at 10 a.m. after voting Friday to strip school vouchers from the chamber’s education funding bill.

Representative John Raney introduced the amendment to the House. He joined News 3 at Six on Monday to discuss the process and why he felt it was important to do so.

“I did not think we needed another spending item,” Raney said. “We just can’t afford to do that.”

Both Bryan and College Station have deficit budgets this year. They say that’s because they rely on state funding. Governor Greg Abbott says he’s only signing an education bill that includes vouchers.

“I would say to the voters, we need to remember who is in charge and the reason our schools aren’t being funded appropriately,” Raney said. “We are ready to pass a bill that will fund our schools, the Governor has said if we pass that alone, he will veto it. That’s about as plain as I can get.”

Rep. Raney says there are no circumstances where he would vote in favor of a school voucher bill.

“Once we start that program, even with guardrails put on it, it’s never going to go away,” Raney said. “I don’t care what they say, they talked about having a three-year sunset on it. Once we start programs, they continue forever.”

Representative Raney says it’s normal for people in the same party to have their differences.

“You know we always have differences, and so we get over them. If we don’t, then we carry grudges and those grudges eat at your heart,” Raney said. “You have to get over a vote. Once it’s over, go to the next vote. You can’t linger on, ‘he did this last time, I am going to do something to him.’ That’s not the way it should work.”

Many rural Republicans and Governor Abbott don’t seem to see eye to eye on this issue. Raney says we will have to see how this impacts the next election.

“The Governor has said he is going to oppose those who oppose vouchers, so we will see how that works. I don’t think it’s going to work very well for him in rural areas.”

Raney says there are a lot of reasons he was chosen as the one to introduce the amendment.

“The group of 24 had been working together on what we would do about vouchers. There was a lot of discussion about it, and I was asked, and I accepted.”

Governor Abbott has said he will continue calling lawmakers back to Austin until a voucher bill is passed. Raney says he believes the republicans voting against vouchers, will continue to vote against them.

“It is not our place to be told what to do by the Governor, our place is to vote our district, and that’s what I think I did,” Raney said.