September 12, 2018      4:33 PM

TCC: First step in funding kids' services in next state budget

The staff at Texans Care for Children take a look at the budget requests for DSHS, TEA, DFPS, HHSC and more

While thousands of bills are filed in each legislative session, many observers have pointed out that the most important one for Texas kids and families is the state budget bill.

State agencies recently took an important step in the budget-writing process when they released their Legislative Appropriations Requests (LARs). The Speaker of the House, the Lt. Governor, and the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) will use those LARs to help them write the first draft of the state budget, which is typically released early in the legislative session.

By Texans Care for Children Staff

September 10, 2018      2:35 PM

Grusendorf: Are We Funding Our Own Demise?

Former Rep. Kent Grusendorf seeks to set these youngsters straight about the realities of socialism

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a soon to be a member of the US House of Representatives, has received a lot of public attention recently regarding her aggressive support of socialism.  Cortez is not unique.

Despite the totality of world history and empirical evidence to the contrary, millennials have a more favorable opinion of socialism than of capitalism. In fact, polls indicate that a majority of millennials would prefer to live in socialist, fascist, or communist regimes than under capitalism. Wow!

By Kent Grusendorf

August 30, 2018      2:40 PM

Villanueva: We Agree, Gov. Abbott, Texas must boost school funding, here is how to do it

Chandra Villanueva at the Center for Public Policy Priorities commends the governor for committing to more funding for schools and outlines the potential pitfalls lawmakers may encounter in trying to make it a reality

This week Governor Abbott made a case for boosting state funding to our public schools. We agree that money matters in education, and the 5.4 million public school students in Texas deserve smaller class sizes, state-of-the-art technology, enriching art programs and more.

In the last decade, the state’s portion of public school funding has plummeted, leaving local property taxpayers to pick up the difference. In 2008 the state and localities split the funding responsibility for public schools almost equally, 50-50. In 2019, local school districts pay about 62 percent of the price tag for schools, while the state pays only 38 percent.

By Chandra Villanueva, CPPP

August 13, 2018      5:19 PM

Grusendorf: Education Reform?

Well ahead of the next legislative session, former Texas House Public Education Chairman Kent Grusendorf lays out some history of what previous governors have sought to do about the issue and whether they really accomplished anything

If you talk to moms around Texas, you’ll quickly learn that a major issue for them is education. Education reform has been a top priority for Texas parents, business leaders, and politicians for decades. So, what have our state leaders said and done in recent decades?

With the 85th Legislature due to start in a few months, a review what governors have said over the past 40 years regarding their education agendas in their State of the State addresses to the legislature might be enlightening. Each of the last six governors, who have led Texas over the past four decades, has proposed reforms designed to fix the problems of public education. 

By Kent Grusendorf

August 6, 2018      2:45 PM

Grusendorf: Death of a Nation, The Movie

From the Right: Former Texas House Chairman Kent Grusendorf offers a review of the controversial new film by Dinesh D’Souza, which is playing at conservative events around he state and nation

The Travis County Republican Party recently sponsored an advance screening of Dinesh D’Souza’s new film “Death of a Nation.”

D’Souza is an Indian immigrant who came to the US as an exchange student and is now a naturalized American citizen. He has an interesting view of American history unfettered by the natural biases of those of us who have grown up in America. The film starts by noting how many once powerful nations have failed due to abuse of power, corruption of ideas, and faulty philosophy.

D’Souza is clearly a partisan Republican, but he raises many issues in the film which merit serious discussion. 

By Kent Grusendorf

August 3, 2018      4:10 PM

Smith: A Warning Involving Jesus, Moses and the Karma of Voting Rights

QR’s Liberal Columnist Glenn W. Smith writes that assaults on voting rights and democracy will come back to haunt those responsible.

Here are a few modest observations on voting rights in America, with a warning that the karmic penalty will fall heaviest on those who misuse political and legal processes to keep their fellow citizens from the polls.

You can’t have a democracy, or, for you voter suppression apologists, a representative republic, without unfettered access to the voting booth for all citizens. Such exclusion is like the New Testament without Jesus or the Old Testament without Moses. You still have some stories to tell, but they’ll be missing their heroes.

In a democracy, the hero is never you or me. The hero is the right to vote.

By Glenn W. Smith

July 25, 2018      4:27 PM

Villalba: Red flag laws would save Texas lives

After Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick poured cold water on the notion that “red flag” laws will ever pass the Senate, outgoing Rep. Jason Villalba says the founders “never intended to provide unfettered access to firearms to those in our society who had exhibited proclivities to maliciously harm others”

On a hot summer day in July of 2013, just a few miles up the highway from the burgeoning, Texas metropolis of Dallas, little Alannah Gallagher, a precocious 6-year old from Saginaw, decided to escape the hot confines of her stifling, middle-class home and take a ride on her big wheel on the desolate country road in front of her house.

Alannah, like the generations of Texas children before her, reveled in the freedom and abandon of a sultry and humid Texas afternoon.  Carefree, reckless, free.  She could feel the wind through her hair and she could let the fading sunshine kiss her face as she pedaled ever faster to her heart’s content.

But, Alannah’s freedom was not without cost. Because lurking in her own neighborhood - in fact, right next door - lived 18-year old Tyler Holder.

By Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas

July 23, 2018      3:49 PM

Grusendorf: The Next Texas Speaker

From the Right: Former Texas House Public Ed Chairman Kent Grusendorf lays out a case that Republicans, in caucus, could select a speaker who can garner bipartisan support on the floor

Selection of the next Texas Speaker will be unlike any in the past 170 years. The selection will differ in several respects.

First, it will be the first time since Reconstruction that Republicans will actually have freely selected a leader from among their membership. Additionally, it will be the first time that a political caucus will have played a major role in the selection of a Speaker. Further, it will be the first time in the last half century that a sitting speaker has voluntarily vacated that office. 

Given these new dynamics, will House members (Democrats and Republicans) prefer a presiding officer or a commanding officer as their new leader in the 86th Legislative Session?  What role will tradition and tenure play in the upcoming speaker race?

By Kent Grusendorf