Voucher Vote in Texas House


During every legislative session there are “line in the sand” votes that are a good indication of which legislators stand up in support of public education.  One of those votes occurred April 4, 2013 in the Texas House of Representatives on an amendment to the state budget bill, S.B. 1, that would have prohibited funding of private school vouchers with a state Stop vouchers imageappropriation to the Texas Education Agency or via state tax credits.  

Amendment author Representative Abel Herrero said, “We know public education needs to be a priority, and we know now that this budget doesn't fully restore the funding for public education, so this amendment ensures that no additional monies are diverted from public schools that serve the majority of our students.”

“We are either with our public schools, or we're not with our public schools,” added Herrero, a Democrat from Robstown who was endorsed by Texas Parent PAC in his 2012 election.  He said it is necessary to focus resources on the real problems that exist, such as the need to bring down class sizes, offer better early childhood education, and give teachers the freedom to teach as opposed to teaching to a test.

Herrero told lawmakers that budget Amendment No. 95 was a straight-forward vote to ensure that no public funds are diverted away from public schools through vouchers or scholarships funded with state tax credits.   Before the vote, Herrero said if legislators are against private school vouchers they should vote Yea on the amendment, and if they are for vouchers they should vote Nay.

Amendment No. 95 as amended (Record vote #169), was adopted by: 103 Yeas, 43 Nays, 1 Present Not Voting, 2 Absent. After the vote, seven representatives changed their votes in the House record, with most stating they intended to vote the opposite way. The list below reflects those vote revisions for a total of 107 Yeas, 40 Nays.

Allen, Alma, D-Houston, HD 131
Alonzo, Roberto, D-Dallas, HD 104
Alvarado, Carol, D-Houston, HD 145
Anchia, Rafael, D-Dallas, HD 103
Ashby, Trent, R-Lufkin, HD 57
Aycock, Jimmie Don, R-Killeen, HD 54
Bell  Jr., Cecil, R-Magnolia, HD 3
Bonnen, Dennis, R-Angleton, HD 25
Bonnen, Greg, R-Friendswood, HD 24
Burkett, Cindy, R-Sunnyvale, HD 113
Burnam, Lon, D-Fort Worth, HD 90
Callegari, Bill, R-Katy, HD 132
Canales, Terry, D-Edinburg, HD 40
Clardy, Travis, R-Nacogdoches, HD 11
Coleman, Garnet, D-Houston, HD 147
Collier, Nicole, D-Fort Worth, HD 95
Cook, Byron, R-Corsicana, HD 8
Cortez, Philip, D-San Antonio, HD 117
Crownover, Myra, R-Denton, HD 64
Darby, Drew, R-San Angelo, HD 72
Davis, Sarah, R-West University Place, HD 134
Davis, Yvonne, D-Dallas, HD 111
Deshotel, Joe, D-Beaumont, HD 22
Dukes, Dawnna, D-Austin, HD 46
Dutton Jr., Harold, D-Houston, HD 142
Eiland, Craig, D-Galveston, HD 23
Farias, Joe, D-San Antonio, HD 118
Farney, Marsha, R-Georgetown, HD 20
Farrar, Jessica, D-Houston, HD 148
Frullo, John, R-Lubbock, HD 84
Geren, Charlie, R-Fort Worth, HD 99
Giddings, Helen, D-Dallas, HD 109
González, Mary, D-Clint, HD 75
Gonzalez, Naomi, D-El Paso, HD 76
Guerra, Robert, D-Mission, HD 41
Guillen, Ryan, D-Rio Grande City, HD 31
Gutierrez, Roland, D-San Antonio, HD 119
Harless, Patricia, R-Spring, HD 126
Harper-Brown, Linda, R-Irving, HD 105
Hernandez Luna, Ana, D-Houston, HD 143
Herrero, Abel, D-Robstown, HD 34
Howard, Donna, D-Austin, HD 48
Huberty, Dan, R-Houston, HD 127
Hunter, Todd, R-Corpus Christi, HD 32
Johnson, Eric, D-Dallas, HD 100
Kacal, Kyle, R-Pearland, HD 12
Keffer, Jim, R-Eastland, HD 60
King, Ken, R-Canadian, HD 88
King, Susan, R-Abilene, HD 71
King, Tracy, D-Batesville, HD 80
Klick, Stephanie, R-Fort Worth, HD 91
Kolkhorst, Lois, R-Brenham, HD 13
Kuempel, John, R-Seguin, HD 44
Lewis, Tryon, R-Odessa, HD 81
Longoria, Oscar, D-Mission, HD 35
Lozano, J. M., R-Kingsville, HD 43
Lucio III, Eddie, D-Brownsville, HD 38
Márquez, Marisa, D-El Paso, HD 77
Martinez, Mando, D-Weslaco, HD 39
Martinez Fischer, Trey, D-San Antonio, HD 116
McClendon, Ruth Jones, D-San Antonio, HD 120
Menéndez, Jose, D-San Antonio, HD 124
Miles, Borris, D-Houston, HD 146
Miller, Doug, R-New Braunfels, HD 73
Moody, Joe, D-El Paso, HD 78
Muñoz Jr., Sergio, D-Palmview, HD 36
Naishtat, Elliott, D-Austin, HD 49
Nevárez, Poncho, D-Eagle Pass, HD 74
Oliveira, Rene, D-Brownsville, HD 37
Orr, Rob, R-Burleson, HD 58
Otto, John, R-Dayton, HD 18
Paddie, Chris, R-Marshall, HD 9
Patrick, Diane, R-Arlington, HD 94
Perez, Mary Ann, D-Houston, HD 144
Perry, Charles, R-Lubbock, HD 83
Phillips, Larry, R-Sherman, HD 62
Pickett, Joe, D-El Paso, HD 79
Pitts, Jim, R-Waxahachie, HD 10
Price, Four, R-Amarillo, HD 87
Raney, John, R-Bryan, HD 14
Ratliff, Bennett, R-Coppell, HD 115
Raymond, Richard, D-Laredo, HD 42
Reynolds, Ron, D-Missouri City, HD 27
Rodriguez, Eddie, D-Austin, HD 51
Rodriguez, Justin, D-San Antonio, HD 125
Rose, Toni, D-Dallas, HD 110
Sheets, Kenneth, R-Dallas, HD 107
Sheffield, J. D., R-Gatesville, HD 59
Sheffield, Ralph, R-Temple, HD 55
Simpson, David, R-Longview, HD 7
Smith, Wayne, R-Baytown, HD 128
Smithee, John, R-Amarillo, HD 86
Springer Jr., Drew, R-Muenster, HD 68
Stephenson, Phil, R-Wharton, HD 85
Strama, Mark, D-Austin, HD 50
Thompson, Ed, R-Pearland, HD 29
Thompson, Senfronia, D-Houston, HD 141
Turner, Chris, D-Arlington, HD 101
Turner, Sylvester, D-Houston, HD 139
Villalba, Jason, R-Dallas, HD 114
Villarreal, Mike, D-San Antonio, HD 123
Vo, Hubert, D-Houston, HD 149
Walle, Armando, D-Houston, HD 140
White, James, R-Hillister, HD 19
Workman, Paul, R-Austin, HD 47
Wu, Gene, D-Houston, HD 137
Zerwas, John, R-Richmond, HD 28

Anderson, Charles, R-Waco, HD 56
Bohac, Dwayne, R-Houston, HD 138
Branch, Dan, R-Dallas, HD 108
Button, Angie Chen, R-Garland, HD 112
Capriglione, Giovanni, R-Southlake, HD 98
Craddick, Tom, R-Midland, HD 82
Creighton, Brandon, R-Conroe, HD 16
Dale, Tony, R-Cedar Park, HD 136
Davis, John, R-Houston, HD 129
Elkins, Gary, R-Houston, HD 135
Fallon, Pat, R-Frisco, HD 106
Fletcher, Allen, R-Tomball, HD 130
Flynn, Dan, R-Van, HD 2
Frank, James, R-Wichita Falls, HD 69
Goldman, Craig, R-Fort Worth, HD 97
Gonzales, Larry, R-Round Rock, HD 52
Hilderbran, Harvey, R-Kerrville, HD 53
Hughes, Bryan, R-Mineola, HD 5
Isaac, Jason, R-Dripping Springs, HD 45
King, Phil, R-Weatherford, HD 61
Kleinschmidt, Tim, R-Lexington, HD 17
Krause, Matt, R-Fort Worth, HD 91
Larson, Lyle, R-San Antonio, HD 122
Laubenberg, Jodie, R-Parker, HD 89
Lavender, George, R-Texarkana, HD 1
Leach, Jeff, R-Plano, HD 67
Miller, Rick, R-Sugar Land, HD 26
Morrison, Geanie, R-Victoria, HD 30
Murphy, Jim, R-Houston, HD 133
Parker, Tan, R-Flower Mount, HD 63
Riddle, Debbie, R-Tomball, HD 150
Ritter, Allan, R-Nederland, HD 21
Sanford, Scott, R-McKinney, HD 70
Schaefer, Matt, R-Tyler, HD 6
Simmons, Ron, R-Carrollton, HD 65
Stickland, Jonathan, R-Bedford, HD 92
Taylor, Van, R-Plano, HD 66
Toth, Steve, R-The Woodlands, HD 15
Turner, Scott, R-Richardson, HD 33
Zedler, Bill, R-Arlington, HD 96

Present, not voting —Straus, Speaker Joe, R-San Antonio, HD 121
Absent, Excused — Gooden, Lance, R-Terrell, HD 4
Absent — Carter, Stefani, R-Dallas, HD 102

If you do not know who represents you in the Texas House of Representatives, go here and complete the form under Who Represents Me?

The Text for Rep. Abel Herrero’s Amendment # 95

Use of Appropriated Funds for School Vouchers or to Support Tax-Credit Scholarships Prohibited.  Money appropriated to the Texas Education Agency by this Act may not be used to pay for or support school vouchers or scholarships for private primary or secondary education provided by nonprofit entities using donations received from entities that receive tax credits as a result of the donations.  In accordance with Section 12.105 and Chapter 42, Education Code, this provision does not affect the funding of an open-enrollment charter school operating under a charter granted under Subchapter D, Chapter 12, Education Code.

The Herrero amendment is not in the Senate-passed version of S.B. 1, so the amendment is subject to negotiation in conference committee and could be removed.  But the House sent an important message to the Senate about its stand against state-funded vouchers and tax credits to pay for private schooling.