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TX Representative, District 66

2-year term. Must be 21 years or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Texas, and a resident of the district represented. Responsible for representing the citizens of the district in which he/she is elected in the Texas House of Representatives.
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    Sharon Hirsch (Dem) Community Volunteer

  • Matt Shaheen (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Taxes: Should school property taxes and/or franchise taxes be reduced? If so, what sources should be used to make up the resulting public school funding shortfall? Do you support transparency for school taxes that are sent to the state under Robin Hood?

Transportation: What are the main transportation needs in Texas, and how should they be funded?

Education: What changes, if any, should be made to public education in Texas?

Healthcare: What legislation would you support, if any, to ensure comprehensive, affordable healthcare for all Texans?

Emergency Preparedness: What does the state need to do to be prepared for and provide emergency services and funding after natural disasters?

Other Issues: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of the Texas Legislature, and what is your position on these issues?

Education Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of North Texas
Experience I am a current board member of Leadership Plano, two-term member of the Plano Cultural Affairs Commission, two-time Texas PTA life membership awardee, and worked twelve years as part of the administrative support staff for Plano ISD.
Twitter @Sharon4TX
Campaign Phone (972) 379-8425
Reducing school property taxes depends on meaningful reform to the school funding formula. Individual property owners shoulder a disproportionate share of school funding while the state’s share has dropped to 38%. It is incumbent upon the state to reappropriate existing funds or secure new revenue to fulfill its constitutional mandate. Repeal of the franchise tax would result in a large hole in revenue, which would ultimately result in cuts to programs and services that impact children and families. I support full transparency for school taxes that are sent to the state under Robin Hood.
I support a comprehensive approach to infrastructure needs. We cannot simply pave our way out of gridlock. Combining new lanes, improvements to existing infrastructure, ride-sharing opportunities, alternative worksite arrangements, public transportation, and new technology like driverless cars will serve to make mobility more efficient. The fuel tax was intended to be the primary source of revenue to pay for our roads. Our state fuel tax is currently 20 cents per gallon and has remained the same since 1991. Raising the fuel tax would supply much needed revenue for desired improvements.
My goal is to make Texas public schools premier learning organizations that become examples for the rest of the nation. We can do this by reducing the emphasis on standardized testing, allowing districts more local control over programming and staff, addressing the needs of an increasingly diverse population, expanding access to quality pre-K programs, and closing the achievement gap for students with limited learning experiences. All of this is incumbent upon school districts having the resources to ensure student success.
Embracing the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid would provide access to healthcare for many vulnerable Texans and reduce the amount of uncompensated care burdening Texas hospitals. In addition, providing students with an excellent education is a proven strategy for improving health outcomes in the future. In areas of critical need, I support a community school approach which partners local schools with community organizations to help provide health and social services in addition to academic services.
The state could enact policies that discourage individuals and businesses from building in potential flood plains; encourage environmental efforts to preserve wetlands and eroding shorelines; help critical care institutions harden their infrastructure; provide models for organizational emergency planning; dedicate state funds to disaster relief. It’s estimated that Hurricane Harvey alone caused $125 billion in damages. With increasingly powerful natural disasters causing devastating loss of life and property, relying on the federal government to foot the bill is unsustainable.
During the next legislative session, I anticipate renewed efforts to subsidize private school tuition through vouchers, which I oppose. I will strongly advocate for a long overdue update and modernization of our school funding formula to reflect the changing needs of our student population. I also expect to see proposed legislation that limits the ability of local governments to raise revenue for programs and services deemed important by their communities. I will support respecting local control which allows school districts, city councils, and other governing bodies to more effectively lead.
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