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Newsletter: The Slowdown We Expected

A couple of key indicators have recently shown that the Texas economy is slowing down.

Because we have wisely decided as a state not to have an income tax, the sales tax is a primary revenue source for education, transportation and other services the state provides. But in six of the last nine months, sales tax collections declined compared to last year.

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Speaker Straus Issues Statement on House Bill 2 ruling

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus issued the following statement Monday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on House Bill 2. House Bill 2 was overwhelmingly approved by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Rick Perry in 2013.

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Newsletter: Constitutional, but flawed

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that our system of paying for education meets the requirements of the state Constitution. But the Court didn't exactly endorse the status quo. In fact, the Court said the way we pay for education in Texas is "undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement." The justices also stressed that it is the Legislature's job, and not that of the judicial branch, to strengthen education policy.

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Speaker Straus Instructs House to Consider Additional School Funding Reforms

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus called on two House committees Thursday to jointly study key aspects of the state’s school finance system and make recommendations before the next legislative session.

Speaker Straus gave two new interim charges to the House Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Public Education. The charges follow a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion that the state’s education finance system, while constitutional, is “undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement.” They also build on Speaker Straus’ earlier calls for the Public Education Committee to study the Cost of Education Index and school districts’ facility needs.

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Newsletter: Improving Mental Health Care

As we near the end of May, which is recognized nationally as Mental Health Month, I'd like to briefly update you on the work that my Texas House colleagues and I are doing on this very important issue.

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