April 9, 2015
I started this legislative session with a few big budget priorities: shoring up the state employee pension, using more of our dedicated funds for their intended purposes and improving education funding.
Over the past two months, we’ve made progress on all of those issues in the Senate budget.
We have bipartisan commitment to address the needs of the Employee Retirement System and are making a significant investment from our dedicated funds, particularly the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. And we’re providing new money for mental health as well as chipping away at the backlog of deferred maintenance needs in our state facilities.
I’m also encouraged that we’ve provided a little more for our public schools through additional facilities funding and a $1.2 billion increase to the basic allotment. But we have an opportunity to do far more and address some of the problems in our broken school finance system. I hope we don’t squander the opportunity to provide Texas schoolchildren the resources they need to receive the education they deserve.
I recognize the hard work of all the members of the committee and our shared commitment to do what’s best for our constituents and the State of Texas. Today, I voted to support the Senate budget and move the process forward so that we can continue to work to make the budget better.