Texas Lawmakers Prioritize Own Pockets, Neglecting Teachers and Promised Historic Tax Cuts

Ash Jurberg

While it looks unlikely teachers will get pay raises or historic property tax cuts will pass House and Senate leaders did agree on a 29% budget increase for their own offices.

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It looks unlikely that teachers will get pay raises or homeowners will receive promised historic property tax cuts but Texas lawmakers have ensured they will benefit from a record tax surplus in Texas.

House and Senate finalized their budget over the weekend and found "an extra $47 million to boost their own budgets by 29 percent and allow pay raises for their staffs." This figure is more than the total increase over the last twenty years.

In justifying the decision State Sen. Joan Huffman, who is the Senate Finance Chair, stated

"Because the Senate’s budget has remained relatively flat the past several biennia, the Senate has been experiencing high turnover of staff, like most other agencies, as a result of low wages, inflation and the rising cost of living in Austin,”

One person who voted against the increase was State Sen. José Menéndez.

"Having a historic $32.7 billion surplus provided us a tremendous opportunity. We had the ability to make needed investments in areas that have been historically underfunded, in addition to strategic funding that could improve the lives of millions of Texans...This is the biggest surplus ever. Teachers deserve better than this (expletive) from the Texas Legislature” State Sen. José Menéndez

Your thoughts

Do you agree with this decision? Do you believe teachers deserved a pay rise? Are you disappointed politicians have increased their own budget at the expense of others?

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San Antonio, TX

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