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Newsletter: Ready to Work

The Texas House will be ready to get to work when we convene Tuesday for a 30-day special session.

Governor Abbott has announced that he wants the Legislature to consider about 20 proposals during the special session. As we go about our work, the House will take a rather simple approach to each issue: We will try to act in the best interest of the state of Texas and the communities we represent.

Specifically, the House will ask several key questions about each idea before us, such as: Does it promote private-sector growth? How would it affect vulnerable Texans? Does it grow government?

The special session is also an opportunity to continue working on serious challenges facing our state. There's no better place to start than in our public schools.

Our education finance system has problems, and inaction will only make those problems worse. Due to a shortage of state funding, we rely too heavily on local property taxes to fund our schools. Property taxes are going up, and more and more of those dollars are going to school districts in other parts of the state through the Robin Hood system.

School districts are expected to send away $2 billion through Robin Hood in the upcoming year. One district alone -- Austin ISD -- is expected to lose more than $530 million in local property taxes to Robin Hood this year. Meanwhile, Texas school enrollment continues to grow rapidly, and some school districts are facing severe funding losses. In fact, a handful of districts are at risk of shutting their doors in the next few years if the Legislature does not act.

The Texas House overwhelmingly passed legislation in April to start fixing the problem in our school finance system. The Senate gutted the bill and ultimately it was not passed into law. Now that we are heading into a special session, we have another opportunity to begin fixing our school finance system.

Texas taxpayers are paying for this special session and deserve action on our most serious challenges. The House will be ready to work on issues that matter to our economy, our future, and our fellow Texans. And as the session unfolds, I hope you will communicate your priorities and concerns to me and other members of the House and Senate.

I look forward to working on your behalf.