Master of Science in Management and Administrative Sciences from UTD
The newly established Texas Commission on Public School Finance is undertaking a bottoms-up review. In any case, it is well understood that formula funding needs a complete revamp.
On the cost side we must make public education more efficient. We can do so over time through transitioning to standardized online resources. It is alarming that we are still so reliant on textbooks. I am honored that the Texas Computer Education Association awarded me as a Digital Champion. At the same time, we need to reduce bureaucratic cost drivers that divert from the educational mission.
My family is vested in and has been well served by public education. My son and nephew both matriculated through RISD, going on to successful endeavors.
It is important to note that the formal title for the “Rainy Day Fund” is the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). The fund, for perspective is around $10 B, the highest in the nation. Its original purpose was to fund tax shortfalls in down economic cycles. That said, my view is that ESF generally should be used for extraordinary rather than ongoing expenses. The uses and investment strategy of the ESF requires ongoing review in conjunction with its balance.
First for context, the state does not levy property taxes. Further the proposals in the recent session centered around a “rollback” rate that would trigger an automatic election rather than capping the rollback rate. Transparency and accountability for the entire appraisal and rate setting process is what is needed.
I respect local control, but recognize that some issues call for consistent statewide regulation. As an example, the city of Austin imposed ride sharing regulations that drove ride sharing services out of the city. This caused driver and customer hardship, especially since trips can come into and out of the city. I voted for a statewide standard this session that provides better assurances for citizens and providers.
Transportation issues are important to me given my past service as Garland's appointee to the DART Board. Proudly two sessions ago we dedicated more funding for transportation. Yet with ever more people and businesses moving to Texas every day, we have ever increasing demands for transportation infrastructure.
The pressing issue for our district is the often times severe congestion on I-635 East. The resulting gridlock and the threat of blockage is enormously costly, and particularly threatens just in time business operations. Mindful of statewide transportation prioritization, we must consider effective and efficient options that we can do in our region to increase its capacity.
Spiraling Medicaid costs should get more attention. Fortunately, the new administration has signaled willingness to allow more latitude for the states in determining eligibility and benefits.
I chair the Economic and Small Business Development Committee, and sit on the Higher Education Committee. The Economic Development Committee will study a number of charges during this legislative interim. One looks at closing gaps in workforce readiness, and others similarly relate to ensuring that we stay ahead of the curve in economic competitiveness.
I appreciate hearing your thoughts on how to make Texas an even better place to live and work. I invite my constituents to join our periodic round tables by topic such as Education, Business, etc.
B.A. in Sociology
J.D. in Law
Both from University of Oklahoma
We need to restore the $5 billion that was previously cut from the budget for public education. We need to close corporate tax loopholes to make sure we adequately fund public education. We must stop trying to divert resources from the public schools with vouchers. Additionally, we need to restore the goal of education, support our teachers’ salaries, secure their pensions, and stop focusing on high stakes standardized testing.
The Rainy Fund should be reserved for disaster relief and emergency situations which affect the actual life of Texans.
I believe the state and federal government should provide the base law of the land. Certain protections like protection from discrimination and retaliation should be mandated state wide. However, localities should have the ability to govern their community if those ordinances do not conflict or impinge on state or federal law.
The gas tax has not been raised since 1991. We need to raise it by .05 cents. I support toll lanes as an express option to existing roadways (635 Express in Dallas for example). I do not support toll only roadways.
Human trafficking victims have a common history of early CPS incidents combined with truancy and runaway incidents. Yet currently there is no system that allows any of the agencies involved to see each other's information to potentially identify a high-risk victim. If elected as State Representative for District 112, I want to mandate a statewide system to allow each organization to retrieve data available to identify high-risk victims, allowing for intervention not possible today.