School, police, fire, and hospitals need funding, not caps

AUSTIN – State Sen. José Rodríguez, chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement on HB 2/SB 2:

The legislature cut $5.4 billion from public education in 2011, and since then, has failed to resolve these deficiencies in public school finance, a major driver of local property taxes.

We should be helping local elected leaders address their communities’ needs, many of which have been long neglected by the state, rather than stymying their ability to fund schools, police, and fire or reopen closed clinics and hospitals. These are just some of the vital local services provided by counties, cities, school districts, and hospital districts, which would be affected by HB 2/SB 2.

Texans have made their voices heard. The state of Texas can and must make a difference in rural and urban communities that have seen schools and hospitals close, while local taxes continue to rise as a result of the state’s decreasing share of funding. Education and access to health care create opportunity for middle-income families. Our strength is our people, and it’s time to invest in ourselves.

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José Rodríguez represents Texas Senate District 29, which includes the counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Presidio. He represents both urban and rural constituencies, and more than 350 miles of the Texas-Mexico border. Senator Rodríguez currently serves as the Chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, and is a member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture (Vice Chair), Transportation, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Water and Rural Affairs.

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