With committee hearings ramping up at the Capitol, we are well on our way to the heart of the 85th Texas Legislative Session. Before things get too hectic, I want to take an opportunity to share some of my legislative priorities for this session.
As always, education is one of my top priorities. With a growing state, we cannot neglect the needs of our youngest citizens. I will continue to advocate for adequately and equitably funding our public schools. We must keep the interests of all Texan children in mind when making decisions that directly affect their futures.
Additionally, the influence of our educators should not be overlooked. We must recognize the hard work and tireless hours they put in to ensure our children are prepared for their next steps in life. Since my appointment to the Joint Interim Committee to Study TRS Health Benefit Plans, I have heard countless compelling stories from current and former educators across the states who are concerned about the rising costs of their health care. I recognize the difficulty of appeasing all parties in addressing this issue, however I do not believe the burden should fall onto our TRS retirees and active public education employees. As we move forward this session, I am committed to working with my colleagues toward a viable, long-term solution that involves a meaningful investment of state resources.
Affordable Higher Education
Access to post-secondary education is crucial in supporting our growing workforce needs. In order to improve access and completion, we need to ensure that post-secondary education is affordable for all students. Because of these ongoing concerns, I have filed several bills this session aiming to improve student outcomes.
With a tight budget, institutions of higher education are concerned how this will impact the programs they offer and their competitiveness among research institutions nationwide. As the sole member from Bexar County on the House Appropriations Committee, I will do everything I can to prevent budget cuts that are harmful to higher education institutions both in San Antonio and statewide.
As we progress, technological and scientific advancements are guaranteed. We must ensure that our workforce is well-equipped and prepared to adapt to a 21st century global economy. Additionally, we need to ensure our workforce is adequately compensated. For this reason, I filed House Bill 954 to give cities and local municipalities the local authority to increase minimum wage as seen fit for their respective communities.
We often find ourselves spending too much time in traffic—time better spent with our loved ones. It is my goal this session, to continue to work closely with TxDot on current and future projects to address these concerns. Congestion on roads and highways, particularly along Bandera Road in our district, can be tiresome and dangerous at times. We must continue to move forward with possible solutions to alleviate these concerns.