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North Texas State Senators Working on DCS Compromise Bill

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    Two North Texas state senators are working on a compromise on a bill regarding Dallas County Schools.

    (Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017)

    Two North Texas state senators are working on a compromise on a bill regarding Dallas County Schools.

    State Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) has filed Senate Bill 1122, which would shut down the agency in charge of busing for 11 districts, including the Dallas Independent School District.

    DCS has been the focus of an NBC 5 investigation for several months over questions about a $42 million budget gap and runaway spending on a school bus stop-arm camera program that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

    That bill was scheduled for a vote Tuesday in the Texas Senate, but instead there may be a bipartisan compromise in the works.

    Huffines and State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) are working together on a possible agreement.

    West wants to add an amendment to the bill that would place the decision whether or to shut down DCS on the November ballot.

    Huffines, who has called the agency corrupt, says this is a way to move legislation forward.

    "Sen. West's idea is to put it to the voters. I am not excited about that. because I think it should go away anyway, but we are going to see. If we get the language worked out the way we want it, we will get it on the bill and move the bill and get her going," Huffines said.

    "There are some issues there that we need to make sure are taken care of," West said, in reference to DCS.

    He added, "I believe they are taking care of some of the issues. But the question is do they have the confidence of the taxpayers and constituents of Dallas County? That is what I am concerned about."

    The bill may come up for a vote later this week. The two men are still working on language for the amendment and a plan on how to proceed after November if the voters decide they want to close the agency.

    In response to this development, DCS Interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins released a statement to NBC 5, saying, "We have heard that the two senators are negotiating a compromise because the school districts are realizing how much it would cost to run school bus transportation on their own."

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