Archives: October 2009   September 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   October 2008   September 2008   July 2008   June 2008   May 2008   March 2008   February 2008   January 2008   December 2007   November 2007   October 2007   August 2007   June 2007   May 2007   April 2007   March 2007  

Messages from Mike - Archive for April 2007

The Battle Over the State Budget

Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 2:19:09 AM

After 18 grueling hours, the Texas House of Representatives concluded our consideration of the state's $150 billion budget at 3:00 a.m. last Thursday.  I was disappointed that the budget shortchanged children's health care, educational programs, and other critical priorities.  However, I  worked hard to improve the budget -- and scored a few victories.
 
I helped lead the debate on a successful amendment by Rep. Rick Noriega (D-Houston) to provide teachers an $800 across-the-board pay increase. Along with passage of a provision prohibiting the use of state funds on private school vouchers over the next two years, the pay raise was the most significant change that Democrats and Republican allies won during the budget debate.

I was also very active in other efforts to improve the budget, and filed amendments to provide a cost-of-living adjustment for teacher retirement benefits, shift funding from large business incentives to small business loans, expand clean air programs, and restore full funding for family planning. Although none of these amendments were ultimately included in the bill, I did successfully attach amendments to encourage better enforcement of worker's compensation laws and fund a kindergarten expansion program for at-risk children.

The next step is for the budget bill to be taken up by the Texas Senate, and then representatives of the House and Senate will meet to negotiate any differences between their versions of the legislation.

Comments (0) - Permanent Link