Top Stories: Texas House Approves $1.8 Billion School Plan; Jerry Jones Set To Enter Hall Of Fame | KERA News

Top Stories: Texas House Approves $1.8 Billion School Plan; Jerry Jones Set To Enter Hall Of Fame

Aug 4, 2017

The top local stories this evening from KERA News: 

The Texas House overwhelmingly approved a plan to inject $1.8 billion dollars into Texas schools on Friday, in part by using a deferred payment. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who leads the Senate, has called it a Ponzi scheme.

This Republican battle royale has been raging in Austin since before the original session started in January. It's Patrick's "movement" conservatives versus the business-minded House, led by speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio.

They couldn't come to agreement on school finance before the regular session ended. And two-plus weeks into a month-long special session, they're still miles apart.

Patrick's Senate whipped through many of the 20 special session issues that Governor Greg Abbott flagged -- including the controversial bathroom bill. Straus's House is being much more deliberate. 

This special session is scheduled to end in two weeks; if the governor's not satisfied, he could call another one.

Other stories this evening: 

  • The United States imprisons a higher percentage of its population than any other country. One of the theories is that private prison companies lobby for tougher sentencing -- basically to get more business. On Think, law professor John Pfaff told Krys Boyd that it's not that simple.
  • It's a Hall of Fame week for North Texas sports icons. On Sunday,  Rangers stalwart Pudge Rodriguez entered baseball's version. Tomorrow, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be inducted into the football Hall of Fame. KERA's Gus Contreras looks at the legacy Jones has built for the team and the league. 

  • Water Tower Theater has a new artistic director. Her name's Joanie Schultz, and one of her first moves was to change the company's season opener from a mainstream Sondheim musical to a raucous off-Broadway show about the origins of the gay-rights movement. For this week's State of the Arts, Schultz sat down with KERA's Vice President of Arts Anne Bothwell to talk about stirring things up in Addison.  

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.