Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 9: Budget, Budget and more Budget

Today is the 9th day of the 82nd regular session of the Texas Legislature. The House will reconvene at 10 am, the Senate at 11.

As expected yesterday's budget announcement has dominated the news. The proposed budget hits public education hard, highlights include:
  • No state funding for pre-Kindergarten programs
  • Drastic cuts to Teacher retirement program funding (which will hurt recruitment and retention)
  • Funding for School for the Blind cut by 59%
  • Public Education funding cut by 23%
  • 60,000 fewer college students receiving state financial aide.

We don't yet have the full proposed budget, which is sure to contain more bad news (we'll have to wait to see what's going to happen to the state's already paltry HIV/AIDS prevention programs). While we wait for that information it might be a good idea for Texas' toddlers, blind people and college students to band together to hire several good lobbyists, 'cause they're all about to be seriously screwed over.

For more information on the budget watch live streaming video of the press conference by Rep. Coleman at 10:30 today HERE.

For the next week or so the budget will be the only story coming out of Austin. In the meantime we're still waiting for rules adoption in both the House and Senate so that bills that would be good for LGBT Texans can start the process of becoming Law.

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