More Columns

Renewable energy subsidies are wrong for Texas

If we want to avoid the high energy prices seen in places like California and New York while enjoying supplies of reliable energy, subsidies won’t work. If we want our neighbors to live healthy lives, if we believe in an open, democratic political process, and if we believe in the prosperity provided by the free market, our current path of subsidizing renewable energy is the wrong one.

Recent court decisions on school finance provide lessons for Texas

Although the Legislature failed to pass school finance reform during the last legislative session, state lawmakers established the Texas Commission on Public School Finance to study the state’s school finance system and offer recommendations for reform. The commission’s recommendations will be stronger if it draws some lessons from recent court decisions in nearby states and bases its recommendations on sound educational research.

The Texas voting system needs immediate repair

Texas, we’ve got a problem — a serious problem. A large part of our election technology across Texas is past its recommended useful life of 10 years. On top of that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says Russia tried to hack our state's election infrastructure.

Public libraries offer a great return for Texas taxpayers

Even if you don’t personally visit the library and participate in these programs and services, public libraries are using your tax dollars in ways that benefit you. Texas public libraries generated $967 million in economic activity in 2015. I hope that you will take advantage of all public libraries have to offer, but even if you don’t, your community is a better place with a library in it.

Texas leaders are wrong to oppose red flag laws

Our politicians are content to blame gun violence on problems that they claim don’t have solutions. They say it’s a matter of bad people doing bad things. If that’s true, red flag laws would help. They say it’s a mental health issue. If that’s true, red flag laws would help. It appears that our lawmakers would rather protect guns than the lives of their constituents.

Highway AND Railways: Let the voters decide

There is federal funding through the FAST Act and other programs that can be leveraged for passenger rail if Texas can step up and match it. Other conservative states, like Oklahoma and Utah, dedicate funding for passenger rail and transit and are seeing the benefits of transportation choices for their citizens. Texas has been shut out.

Texas can’t afford ACA attacks

The 2018 midterms are right around the corner. It’s time for every elected lawmaker in Texas to choose a side: Will they stand with women and families or will they stand with in the way of our health and freedom? It’s an easy decision really. Choose families. Choose life.

No one trained me for this

No one trained me for what I am doing as an immigration attorney in the family separation crisis: talking about horrific crimes against humanity in Central America and then learning the details of my own government’s purposeful actions to traumatize asylum-seekers.

Fear, hope and immigration

As an immigrant free from fear, I cannot stand idly as others are threatened and assailed. Immigrants, regardless of classification and throughout history, craft the American story. The greatest privilege I live with has been the ability to play one small part in it. I dream that many others may join this story too, free from fear and ferried by hope.

Are we keeping faith with international students?

Many of America’s influential leaders in business, government, industry, medicine and research began as international students; some worked long and hard to become citizens. The hubris required to think the country better off without such seekers is a particularly backward and dangerous one and would result in a needless and tragic loss.

Dishonesty won’t fix property taxes

Mike Collier’s TribTalk article clearly shows either his total ignorance regarding Texas law and the state budgeting process — as well as his absolute lack of qualifications for the office he seeks — or his willingness to intentionally mislead Texans about the issues facing our state.

A pediatrician’s take: Empowering patients’ healthcare outcomes through voting

If parents perceive that voting can impact their children’s healthcare, they may be more likely to register, and furthermore, to vote. Maintaining voter engagement is also crucial; almost one in five registered voters in my study were unaware of how to find information on upcoming elections. Healthcare professionals in pediatric clinics can provide this information to families.

Time to sunset the Sunset Advisory Commission

The Sunset Advisory Commission was established to periodically review this level of governance, review the need for agencies and make them more cost effective. But Sunset reviews usually result in minor tweaks to agencies without much benefit to the Texas taxpayer. Perhaps it’s time to consider a sunset of the Sunset Advisory Commission.

Texas’ property tax mess

By blowing holes in our revenue systems, and then borrowing billions and driving debt service costs up, the state has made a complete hash of our finances. We simply don’t have enough money to make ends meet. And the one place lawmakers always turn for more money is local property taxes.

Separated families and the urgency of the ticking clock

Toxic stress is about the ticking clock of persistent biological disruptions in the absence of a supportive caregiver. The biology of adversity, common sense and human decency all converge around two powerful conclusions: Reunite every child and parent immediately; and provide coordinated treatment for both of them together to begin to heal the damage that we have done.

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