May 29, 2015
We had an unprecedented opportunity this session to invest in Texas, and in some areas, we seized that opportunity.
We’re helping our higher education campuses build more than $3 billion in capital infrastructure, support the Legislature has failed to provide for nearly a decade. We’ve also committed to fixing some long-neglected state facilities, such as the School for the Deaf, where the health and safety of Texas children has been put in peril. And state employees can rest assured that we made significant steps toward shoring up your pension. There is also more funding for our transportation needs because we stopped the diversion of $1.3 billion in gas tax dollars.
In other areas, this budget largely maintains the status quo. Our public schools will be no better off than they are today even as billions of available dollars are left untouched. I have long argued for addressing our schools’ needs now instead of waiting on the Texas Supreme Court to rule. I have to hope that the Legislature will be ready to use that available money to help fix an unconstitutional school finance system when the Texas Supreme Court finally acts.
Texas can do better. But this budget makes progress in some key areas and I voted for the budget today to continue that progress.