May 22, 2013
Texas Senator Kirk Watson, Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement Wednesday regarding the Senate’s passage of House Bill 1025, the supplemental appropriations bill:
“Since before this legislative session started, Democrats have been focused on restoring funds that were cut from our schools in the 2011 session. This bill, and the larger budget deal it allows for, doesn’t undo all of the damage from two years ago, but it is much, much better than the previous budget and the initial drafts of this one.
“Through friendly, sincere negotiations, Democrats have maintained the pressure to increase education funding while working constructively with our Republican colleagues to find creative ways to access those resources. This approach simply would not have worked without such a dedicated and principled negotiating partner, and we salute Chairman Tommy Williams on this budget product and the process that produced it.
“By standing firmly for what we believe and working hard to find compromise, we have added roughly $3.9 billion to Texas’ education budget. This is an investment that all Texans, regardless of party, should support, and that all Texans can be proud of.
“There’s more work to do. Texas can still do better by our kids, our schools and our future. No one on either side should take this as an excuse to be complacent or tell themselves that this is as good as it gets. We’ll work through the interim and into the next session to ensure that Texas does do better.
“But we’re proud to endorse this bill and this budget deal. It undoes much of the damage from 2011 and sets a strong foundation that we can build on for Texas in the 21st Century.”