Letter to the Houston Chronicle

Senate budget

There are so many things wrong in your Sunday (Page A33) editorial, “Democrats, RIP,” (which appallingly promotes partisanship over hard work and cooperation) that it is hard to take it seriously, but I must correct the record on some blatant inaccuracies. Contrary to your editorial, the Senate budget fully funds K-12 education as well as the projected growth of 82,000 new students we expect to enter the system. Your own reporters have rightly noted that the school funding formula is tied to local property values. When property values increase, local property taxes generate a greater portion of the school funding formula requirement. Had property values decreased statewide, as they did in 2009, the share of state funding for K-12 would have increased. Importantly, Senate Bill 2 will help lower that burden.

The Senate budget also effectively sustains funding for higher education, increases spending on health care, including women’s health and mental health, and addresses the critical needs at Child and Family Protective Services.

The Senate budget does not raise taxes or dip into the Rainy Day Fund for ongoing expenses. It maintains our commitment to border security and is well within the state’s population growth times inflation. You may not be happy with this kind of prudent and conservative fiscal management, but this is exactly what the people of Texas elected me to do. The fact that the Senate budget passed on a unanimous bipartisan vote is good news for Texans. I am sorry it is not good news to you.

Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

Click here to see the letter in the Houston Chronicle.