- Increasing public education funding to $46.5 billion for the biennium, including $664 million in programs targeted to overcoming pandemic-related learning loss
- Investing in the health of Texans by increasing funding for rural hospitals, women’s health programs, and disability services
- Significant investment in infrastructure, including new funds to repair highways and bridges and an increase in funding for the oversight of our electric grid
- Salary increases for law enforcement officers and additional funding to secure the border and combat human trafficking
Last week we crossed the first major deadline of session as we voted the final House Bills out of the chamber, and now we are rapidly approaching the last day to vote out Senate Bills (this coming Tuesday). After that deadline has passed, we will spend most of our time voting out conference reports, which are the products of the negotiations that occur when the House and Senate vote out different versions of a bill.
The biggest outstanding item is the budget. If you’ll remember, the House passed our version of the budget back in April, and negotiations have been taking place between House and Senate appropriators ever since. All signs point to these talks being successful, so I’m optimistic that we will have a balanced, conservative budget headed to the Governor’s desk on time.
Outside of the budget, we are continuing to push legislation that improves child welfare outcomes across the state. We’ve made some great progress on this issue over the last few months, and I’m hopeful that we will get a couple more bills across the finish line. Those interested can find an overview of some of these reforms below.
While I have genuinely enjoyed this session and feel that we’ve accomplished some really good things, I am looking forward to being back in Wichita Falls. One of my favorite parts of returning home is meeting with various clubs, groups, and individuals to recap the last several months and get your feedback. Anyone interested in setting up a meeting can shoot an email to Jim Johnson, my Chief of Staff, at email@example.com.