Texas’ longhorns commerce ga has a track record of screwing over state agencies, and its next session is no different.
The chamber is headed to a special session to decide whether to take another $400 million in cuts that would cripple the state’s most important agencies, from the Department of Public Safety to the Department, Energy and Commerce, to make room for the GOP’s draconian anti-union agenda.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the measure Tuesday, with Republicans holding a 51-45 majority, and the full House will hold a vote on it Wednesday.
A bipartisan group of Republican lawmakers wrote the bill, which would make cuts of up to $1.3 billion in state agencies over three years.
The governor vetoed the measure in April, saying that the cuts were needed to fund the Texas Dream Act, a law aimed at helping Texas kids get a good education.
The bill also sought to eliminate state funding for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit that gives money to Republican candidates.
It also sought $300 million in state funds to fund a new program to educate high school students about the value of public lands.
“We are the only state in the country that does not have a high school graduation rate,” said Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican from Katy, who sponsored the bill.
“What we have to do is find a way to fix the issue.
It’s not that we’re going to throw it out because it’s a good thing, it’s that we don’t want to have it in the future.”
While the state is expected to have a much smaller budget next year, Republicans are also threatening to use the funds to build a $1 billion, 2,500-mile-long rail line to Texas’ border with Mexico.
“Our state has to spend money to make sure that we can continue to fund education and provide for our state workforce,” said Tinderholts chief of staff Chris Hays, who also serves as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
“The governor’s veto is an example of how he refuses to spend the money to help our state grow.”
Democrats, meanwhile, called the measure a partisan exercise.
“It’s time for Texas’ Republicans to finally stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a partisan political attack on the state budget and work together to fix a problem that can be solved by the Texas Legislature,” said State Sen. Joe Pickett, a Democrat from Austin.
“This is a big deal, and it’s going to cost taxpayers money.
If we’re not serious about fixing it, we’re all going to be paying the price.”
Republicans were also quick to blame the governor for the budget deal.
“He is in charge of the budget, but the budget process is different than the budget,” said Sen. Eddie Lucio, a former congressman from Galveston.
“There are rules and guidelines and rules and standards for how we do it, but he is not in charge.
He has to follow the rules.”
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