Julie on the Issues
Texas clearly does not spend enough per student. At present, with one party leadership, we are at a political stalemate that shortchanges our children and Texas property owners. The basic allotment per student, expanding our pre-K campuses and offering more wraparound services at schools around the state is an obvious start to direct increased spending. Since 2008, property owners and local tax authorities have had to make up for the $18B shortfall that has been enacted since the state reduced it’s subsidization of budget from 50% to 37%.
Your education shouldn’t be determined by where you’re born in our state or how much your parents’ property is worth-if they have any property at all. Regarding funding, our state is enjoying a healthy sales tax surplus along with billions of dollar in surplus revenue. These revenues along with the Rainy Day fund should be considered for funding in the short term.
I also believe the Texas legislature should support the high speed rail proposed between Houston and Dallas which would ease damage to roads in the long term and ease the public burden for infrastructure costs during its construction. This proposed route would mean great things for Texas business which would also add revenue to our budget in the long term.
Criminal Justice Reform
It is completely unjust to jail people for being poor and it is fiscally irresponsible. The aims of any future reforms by our legislature should be focused on accountability for police, citizens, defendants, prisoners and the families of prisoners alike.
In addition, the state of Texas should form a commission to research the ways to eliminate the school to prison pipeline that often traps young men and women of color within the criminal justice system, creating an undue financial burden on taxpayers.
Women’s health affects the economic future for communities and all families. In 2011, The Texas legislature deeply cut the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Family Planning Program, which has destroyed the low-cost clinic network for Texan women. 53 women’s health clinics have been forced to close their doors since then. Unlike our opponent who has voted to defund clinics like Planned Parenthood, which provide lifesaving cancer screenings and general healthcare, Julie will make sure every woman in Texas has the ability to have a healthy life and plan for healthy families.
What I hear from many voters and locally elected officials is a need to return local control to our counties and municipalities. Cities should be allowed to have open debate about raising the minimum wage and not fear overarching obstruction from those in Austin.
Texas has done a great job at making our state open for business but what about those who work at these businesses? When we grant tax abatements and land use deals, we need to know more about the standards for pay and benefits at the companies we have welcomed to our state.
The current Republican Representative, Matt Rinaldi, proved the true, racially motivated nature of the bill when he called ICE on protesters peacefully assembling to protest this racist and ineffective law.
Furthermore, the overreach from Austin that would punish police chiefs and sheriffs who refuse to enforce these bans is another example of how Republican statewide leadership has attacked local control.
Despite a tax surplus, the Texas government has decreased funding for public education and healthcare year after year. This is the main driver of rising property taxes. Julie plans to tap into the revenue surplus to alleviate the pressure on property tax revenue to cover inadequate state funding of public education. She also supports accepting federal Medicaid expansion which will provide relief to local tax entities like Parkland Hospital and our local school districts.