County fairs, baseball, and the Masters on television can only mean one thing — it’s crunch time in Austin. This past week the Texas House was laser focused on fulfilling our single constitutional obligation of passing a balanced budget. In that regard, I want to take this opportunity to provide some information on where we are in the budgeting process. . .

Budget

After nearly 17 hours on the floor, and over 400 proposed amendments, the Texas House of Representatives passed our state budget proposal by an overwhelming margin of 131-16. I’d like to point out that even despite the revenue challenges, and increases in both population and inflation, the people’s House produced a thoughtful budget that wisely invests taxpayer dollars in a fiscally prudent manner. While more than $1 billion less than our current biennial budget, it continues our investments in critical priorities for our rural district and the state as a whole.

The House budget is fully transparent and protects the state’s investment in transportation while also maintaining our commitment to using dedicated funds for their rightful purpose. Our proposal includes nearly $1.5 billion in new money for public education, while also reducing recapture (also known as Robin Hood). We are addressing the foster care crisis in Texas by investing $433 million of additional funds to child protective services. In addition, the House is dedicating $62.6 million in new funds to eliminate waiting lists for community mental health services across the state, all the while maintaining our commitment to adequate border security funding.

As a member of the committee responsible for crafting this budget, I could not be more proud of the commitment we have maintained to addressing the needs of our state throughout the budgeting process. While this has been a long and often tedious process, that will continue as we negotiate with the Senate over the next two months, I am confident that we will finish strong and send a budget to Governor Abbott that reflects conservative principals and responds to the critical needs of our growing state.

Reminders

The mobile office is back on the road in April and looks forward to seeing you around the district! Here’s this month’s schedule: April 19th from 9am – 11am at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett or from 1:30pm – 3:30pm at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton. You can also come see us on April 26th from 9am – 11am at the San Augustine Courthouse in San Augustine. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.