The Texas House of Representatives will debate the budget on Thursday, April 6, which will determine the state’s investment in priorities such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure for the next two years.
The Senate approved its budget bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), unanimously on March 28. The House Appropriations committee, chaired by Rep. John Zerwas (R-Fulshear), made a number of changes to the bill that would result in greater funding for public education. Now the full House is set to debate the budget bill tomorrow, and more than 400 floor amendments have been pre-filed for additional consideration.
ATPE has supported the House version of SB 1 over the Senate’s plan. In this bill, we believe the House leadership has demonstrated a stronger commitment to prioritizing the needs of public education, including a willingness to conservatively use the state’s rainy day fund to help address current shortfalls, such as the need for funding retired educators’ healthcare, while still maintaining a healthy balance in that savings account for future needs.
Among the floor amendments likely to be considered tomorrow, ATPE is urging support for amendments that would provide even more funding for TRS-Care and other public education needs. We are also asking legislators to reject any amendments that would divert taxpayer funds for any type of voucher program for unregulated private and home schools. A list of major budget amendments that ATPE supports and opposes can be found here.
The House version of SB 1 was approved unanimously by the bipartisan House Appropriations Committee, but it still faces a long road ahead. ATPE hopes that the House will send a strong message tomorrow by supporting the additional investments in public education and responsible use of the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund.
For updates on the budget debate, be sure to follow the ATPE Governmental Relations team on Twitter:
- ATPE’s Teach the Vote: @TeachtheVote
- ATPE Governmental Relations Director Jennifer Canaday: @ATPE_JenniferC
- ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter: @ATPE_MontyE
- ATPE Lobbyist Kate Kuhlmann: @ATPE_KateK
- ATPE Lobbyist Mark Wiggins: @MarkWigginsTX
- ATPE: @OfficialATPE
Related: ATPE members are encouraged to visit Advocacy Central to send their state representatives a message about SB 1 and the funding needs of public education.