FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/31/2017
Texas House Prioritizes Border Security & School Finance
- Weekly Legislative Update 1/30/17 -
(Austin, TX) - Continuing on the work from last week, I joined my fellow Texas House members in calling on the federal government to reimburse Texas taxpayers for $2.8 billion in costs resulting from Washington’s failure to secure the border.
Texas has stepped up in protecting our borders, a task that is a federal responsibility. However, due to Washington’s failure, Texas has taken the initiative in recent years. As a result, Texas taxpayers are carrying a tremendous financial burden that should be shared equally by all Americans. My colleagues and I ask Washington to own up to its responsibility of securing the border and to reimburse Texas for the $2.8 billion cost the citizens of Texas have spent in cleaning up the federal government’s mess.
Since January 2013, the state of Texas and local governments have been forced to spend a tremendous amount of money as a result of Washington’s failure to secure the border. This financial burden on Texans is unacceptable and I hope the Trump administration’s commitment to border security is upheld.
In addition, during the legislative interim the Texas Supreme Court ruled on the school finance and the equitable distribution of money to school districts. The ruling held that the way school districts are currently financed is constitutional, however, it noted the problems and inefficiencies that could be improved upon. House leadership has made it a priority to improve the school funding mechanism this legislative session. I have been listening to many of my local education leaders, educators, students, parents, and taxpayers about how the legislature can help them and have made it a priority to support legislation that fixes the school finance system and prioritizes the education of our Texas school children. I cannot return from Austin from a session where we do not address this critical need for our public school system. As a former educator, I believe that a strong foundation can only be built if we provide our schools with the adequate tools and support they deserve. Moreover, I do not have a lot of intellectual energy for plans that attempt to divert large sums of taxpayer monies to other efforts and away from my rural East Texas districts.
The House also met for Tuesday and Wednesday to continue preparing for committee assignments and beginning to push legislative priorities. We will be reconvening this week on will hear from both Governor Greg Abbott and Chief Justice Nathan Hecht in regards to the state of their respective branches of the Texas government.
Lastly, The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has notified my office of the completion of a project in House District 19. The project located in Jasper County on FM 1007 from US 96 to RE 255 was completed on December 27, 2016. This project originally began back on March 1st and consisted of the construction of a safety project providing additional paved surface width and centerline texturing. I thank Southeast Texans for their support in building and improving roads and bridges. These bridges and roads are tied to our ability to increase economic freedom and grow our local prosperity.
The Capitol of Texas belongs to you and visiting the Capitol during the biennial legislative session is a great experience. To assist in arranging your visit please call Saul Mendoza, my Chief of Staff, at (512) 463-0490. Or, you can email him at email@example.com.