Statement from Sen. José Rodríguez, Chairman of Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, on Priorities for 86th Legislature
Austin, TX — The following statement was released by SDC Chairman, José Rodríguez:
While the Texas Legislature has taken great efforts to ensure the prosperity of our State, there are still many issues we must face together. As Democratic Members of the Texas Senate, we will fight for education for all, access to health care, and empowering those who call Texas home.
Every child deserves a quality education no matter their race, gender, residence, or household income. The Senate Democratic Caucus believes it’s our duty to fight for more resources in every classroom across Texas. We can do this by increasing per student spending and funding special allotments tailored to each school district. In doing so, we will also be affording true property tax relief to taxpayers. We must bring equity to our school finance system to ensure all of our children get the fair shot they deserve.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured children and adults in the country. Unfortunately, this trend is only growing and placing heavy burdens on working families. Together, we will fight for quality and affordable health care for everyone in Texas. Access to care is also key to the well-being of our State. It’s vital we work to increase accessibility to families regardless of their zip code, gender, or race. These initiatives will help ensure the health of our State, and the people who reside within it.
Each county, city, and school district is unique in Texas. They are the economic engines that drive the success of our State in the nation and the world. The Legislature should provide opportunities for their success instead of hindering their growth. Any changes relating to limiting local governments’ ability to provide and fund services should be avoided, as instituting these policies will do little to reduce the burden on taxpayers. Instead, we should work with our local officials and communities to ensure our State’s continued economic well-being.
Our democracy is built on the foundation of free and fair elections. The people’s voice rang clear this past November, and as a legislative body, it’s our job to listen. We must also protect every citizen’s right to vote and engage in our democracy. Unfortunately, there are those within our State who would rather deny or suppress the voice of the people. Together, we will fight these and similar injustices in our voting system to ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted. We can achieve this through expanding voting rights in Texas and assisting those who wish to exercise their constitutional right to be heard.
These are the tenets we stand for as Democrats within the Texas Senate. It’s our hope to work with our colleagues on each of these issues this Legislative Session. Together, we can deliver on the promise of a fair shot for every Texan and ensure our State’s future success.
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.