AUSTIN, Tex. (KBTX) - On day 2 of the Texas legislative session, the three most powerful people in the state government are sending a message.
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference at the governor's mansion Wednesday morning to say they are "aligned" in their priorities and efforts this session--especially one.
"The issue of school finance is the issue of the session," said Bonnen.
The three told the media that this isn’t their first meeting, and it won’t be the last. They listed other priorities, too, including helping disaster victims and providing property tax relief.
This marks a change in tone from the leaders of the legislative chambers. Patrick, leader of the state senate as lieutenant governor, and former Speaker of the House Joe Straus often at odds over more conservative issues.
School finance has been on the minds and lips of legislators for years, and Gov. Abbott spoke to why he thought this session would be different.
"We have spent the time doing the work to get prepared for this," said Abbott. "It's not as if we're beginning today or next week."
"The school finance commission--this is a project that's been worked on for more than a year now, from input from both the House and the Senate and the governor's office," Abbott said. "This is something we have been getting prepared for, understanding the mandate from the public, and it's not something we're going to get done, it's something we have to get done."