Instead of doing their jobs to repair their shameful failure in public schools, the Texas governor and lieutenant governor want to bribe families out of their children’s educational civil rights by offering vouchers to nowhere with their proposal to use public money for private schooling of special needs students.
Beto O’Rourke, who is set to challenge Republican Ted Cruz for his Senate seat in 2018, faces daunting odds, even though an analysis of his record in the House suggests that, if elected, he would be among the more moderate Democrats in the Senate. Party brand matters, and it is surprisingly difficult to shake.
The Senate’s proposal to limit cities and counties from raising the funds they need to pay police officers, firefighters and paramedics is a bad idea. Senate Bill 1, as this proposal is called in this special legislative session, would also threaten local funding for health care, parks and libraries. Fund public education and the rest will take care of itself.
As the state legislative sessions of 2017 illustrate, attacks on access to sexual and reproductive healthcare continued across the country despite the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In the revolution for reproductive justice, the ruling represents a well-deserved but incomplete victory.
The truth of the matter is that cities like Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio benefit from Texas’ burdensome property tax code. While businesses, particularly commercial property owners, have watched their property valuations skyrocket over the past few years, municipalities are cashing in on the record high taxes being collected on Texas properties.
The bathroom bill doesn’t improve safety. The bathroom bill hinders economic growth, community, business development and Texas’ overall ability to stay competitive in the search for the kind of diverse, smart talent that moves our state forward.
In 2014, I tried to go to the polls to vote. I knew the additional voting requirements of showing a photo ID would likely pummel any hopes that the disability community would have in accumulating political power. I realized I had an opportunity to shine a spotlight on how the law had disenfranchised me of my voting rights.
Inefficient school finance formulas aren’t the only factor driving up property taxes. The Legislature often forces back-door tax increases through new legislation, rules and regulations that impose added costs on counties, leaving local taxpayers to pick up the tab. Unfortunately, these unfunded mandates have become all too common.
The truth is simple: Politicians trying to restrict LGBT rights and abortion access tell lies to push their agenda. Then they turn those lies into laws that actively hurt our communities. That’s exactly what Texas lawmakers are trying to do in this special session, where they plan to pursue both a “bathroom bill” and more measures restricting abortion access.
Over-reliance on life and virtual life sentences is not just a Texas problem. The number of people serving life sentences in U.S. prisons is at an all-time high, even as national crime statistics are down substantially from a mid-1990s peak. Nearly 162,000 people are serving life sentences in America. An additional 44,311 individuals are serving virtual life sentences.
Texas has seen some important abortion policy changes in recent years. The Texas Legislature voted to remove Planned Parenthood from the state family planning program in 2011. Additionally, after new abortion clinic regulations were signed into law in 2013, a significant number of abortion facilities in Texas closed.
In Texas, “foreign direct investment” programs are growing because of our globally competitive business climate. EB-5, which has proven especially beneficial for Texas, eases the pathway to U.S. residency for foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in businesses that create no fewer than 10 U.S. jobs. The U.S. Commerce Department says that in fiscal year 2013, the program generated more than $5.8 billion in foreign investment to 562 projects nationwide, creating more than 174,000 jobs.