May 28, 2017
The broad outlines of the 2018-19 state budget were drawn two years ago when the Legislature made short-sighted tax cuts and other decisions that severely reduced by $9 billion the revenue needed to pay for education, health care and other basic state functions.
As a result, there’s a lot not to like in the 2018-19 budget approved by the Texas Senate on Saturday.
I’m incredibly disappointed in the Legislature’s inability to enact any real school finance reform. We’re failing the schoolchildren of Texas as well as taxpayers by refusing to invest more in public education.
Senate Bill 1 also does far too little to respond to needs of severely disabled children who have lost access to critical therapies due to provider rate cuts in 2015. I don’t understand the resistance to fully restoring this funding.
But as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I served on work groups that helped to craft the budgets for Child Protective Services, mental health, health care, higher education and natural resources and was able to fight for specific investments that I believe makes this budget better for Texans.
Senate Bill 1 provides:
employees. These resources should help the agency address the ongoing crisis created in part by astronomical turnover among caseworkers. Coming into the session, this was one of the highest priorities for me and I’m pleased we were able to make this difference.
By those measures, I can support Senate Bill 1.