Special Session Adjourns

The Texas Legislature adjourned a day early, having passed 9 of the 20 items on the governor’s call. Though we tackled some important issues, I’m disappointed that several conservative measures to constrain the growth of government (like property tax reform and spending caps for state and local governments) were not given full hearings and fell by the wayside.

One silver lining is the passage of House Bill 21. While it does not radically reform our school finance system, it does include much-needed relief to our retired teachers, who have been struggling with astronomical health insurance increases. It also creates a commission to recommend improvements to our “lawful but awful” school finance system.

Earlier this week I amended another bill to charge this commission with studying career and technical education regulations. CTE courses are critical to our current and future workforce, but I’d heard from constituents who explained how difficult and costly it was for our schools to comply with current regulations.

“Efforts like these are what we need to maintain a workforce for agriculture in this state,” said Russell Boening of the Texas Farm Bureau, one of several organizations advocating for increased CTE opportunities. “Training that allows our youth to make a good living not only supports families in our rural communities, but also across the state in suburban and urban areas.”

Unfortunately, the bill I amended didn’t make it, but I will work with the commission to ensure it includes CTE requirements in its review process so Texas can improve and expand our CTE offerings.

The special session was a lukewarm success for conservatives, but the fight isn’t over. You elected me to fight for true conservative values that allow our families to live our lives free from government overreach. And I’m not finished yet.

 

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