FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/29/2015
Giddings says "NO", Education must remain a priority
Austin - "Today, I was compelled to vote "NO" on the final conference committee report of HB 1, as it was heard on the House floor. After many hours of deliberations, the House committee on Appropriations, on which I sit, brought a bill to the full House that everyone believed they could live with. While in general I was pleased, the conference committee unfortunately took actions that made major reductions in the bill as it relates to education. This budget shortchanges education, thus shortchanging our children. By underfunding education, we negatively impact our children's ability to reach their full potential. Even after putting $130 million dollars in HB 4 (Governor Abbot's Pre-K bill), we still fall short of Pre-K grant funds of $250 million, as they existed prior to 2011.
But, to be fair, the bill had its high marks. I point to allocations of over $7 million dollars to assist Texas food banks, providing the necessary funding to keep the Employees Retirement System solvent, over $130 million dollars to promote research at our universities, and, for the first time in 10 years, we approved tuition revenue bonds.
Even with these positives in mind, our universities and community colleges have not regained the funding levels they achieved prior to the cuts made to education in 2011. Texas must value investments in human capital, as well as investments in infrastructure, if it's to be the prosperous, competitive state that we all know we can be."
Representative Helen Giddings proudly serves House District 109, including the cities of Dallas, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights Hutchins, Lancaster, Wilmer as well as part of Duncanville.
Contact: Carnell Emanuel