Well the regular session of the legislature is over and if forced to give a grade for them it would be a D-. Why so low? Well let us take a look at what they accomplished. First a two billion infrastructure fund to address the state’s current and future water needs. Second four billion in funding returned to education. Third the reduction of tests needed to graduate from fifteen to five. Fourth an increase of some 259 million dollars to mental health care. Fifth an increase of 132 million dollars to women’s health care. Sixth an additional fifty million dollars added to the Emerging Technology Fund. Seventh no additional funds for the Enterprise Fund which currently has an unspent balance of some 119 million dollars. Eighth an increase in the allowable number of charter schools. Wow so much good how can the grade be so low?
Well this next group of actions fall into the questionable category. Allowing college students to store guns in their personal vehicles on campus. The gutting of an ethics bill, as well as failing to reform the Texas Railroad Commission, combines to lower this session’s grade. Next the major sources of point deductions.
First the failure to create an Innocence Commission to investigate mistakes and to recommend corrections. The legal system is fallible and corruption can and does occur, this means there should be a way to fix mistakes that occur. Second the inability of the legislature to fix and fund the state’s transportation issues. Third and most importantly the legislature’s failure to address and fix the redistricting issues. Let the law suits begin. So what are the solutions that can be done to bring the legislature’s grade up to the B plus or better that the people deserve.
To start with admit that many college students are still immature, and that allowing guns in vehicles is a bad idea. Not only is this a bad idea but one that would fail to prevent school tragedies from occurring. I see it now hold on Mr. Psycho while I go get my gun from the car. Yeah that will work (yes this is sarcasm). Why is it that we cannot have a tough comprehensive ethics law? Why, because politicians are corrupt and want the loop holes to operate for them. Also what is wrong with knowing who contributes to politicians war chests, or to the political action committees that support them? Next quit giving tax breaks to businesses, Texas is already a low tax state, if you have too much money give some back to the people! Fix the state’s transportation issues. Oh by the way toll roads are nothing more than cronyism at work. Instead fund and build needed roads. Create an Innocence Commission to oversee the justice system. Redistricting or as both liberals and conservatives see it, gerrymandering for power. Instead of a group of people use a program to draw the borders. No protected districts for incumbents, no easy routes for challengers, and no artificial minority districts. Last on corrections voter identification yes, buy only if it protects/allows everyone to vote. There was a solution article on this earlier, look it up. Well until next week may you have fair winds and a following sea.
ROY POKLADNIK, is a teacher and problem solver welcomes comments and suggestions for topics . He may be reached at : firstname.lastname@example.org.