Education should be one of the top priorities of this state. It’s an investment in our society, and we will all reap the rewards. Now, our schools are underfunded and overburdened with arbitrary testing requirements, causing headaches for students and teachers. I’ve watched as our classrooms become more and more crowded.
Under previous gubernatorial administrations, this state funded education at student population plus an additional $1B. Texas currently is allocating funding for 50% of the student population. The rest has to be made up from your local property taxes.
We need to:
-Stop shortchanging school districts and pushing unfunded mandates
-Revisit the way this state administers standardized testing, the need for such an exhorbitant number of tests and the amount of time teachers are forced to spend catering to them instead of instructing students. This includes giving serious consideration to getting rid of STAAR and exploring other options, such as a move to the Iowa Basic Skills Test, the most common standardized test
-Provide teachers and the students the resources they need, like textbooks
-Stop punishing teachers by refusing to allow them their earned Social Security benefits from other jobs
-Involve more active teachers in state level curriculum planning
Women’s Rights have long been under attack by this state. We need to ensure that women have bodily integrity and autonomy, to be free from sexual violence, to receive equal opportunity and compensation in the workplace. This state has refused federal funding to expand Medicaid options to low income pregnant women and low income children.
This state has sunset the Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, despite having the highest rates in the country. Experts point to continued Medicaid cuts, yet our state continues to make them. Women are dying, and out state government is not acting.
This state has been plagued with problems and passed many laws that have been overturned by the courts.
No person should be treated differently due to their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or country of origin.
Cases include discrimination towards women by instituting unnecessary and nonofficial restrictions on abortion providers. This state has been found guilty by the courts of suppressing minority voters on numerous occasions. It has been found guilty of suppressing the rights of our GLBTQ community. Every one of these pieces legislation that passes hurts Texas, and our pocketbooks. The state continues to be sued, and continues to lose on the grounds that these laws are unconstitutional. We need to stop passing unenforceable and discriminatory laws that cost this state millions in legal defenses, as well as discourage business growth.
Over half the Representatives in the Texas State House sponsored legislation to legalize medicinal marijuana during the 2017 legislative session. The majority of Texans support it as well. Its ripple effects touch our medical industry, provide tax revenue to the state and ease the strains on our criminal justice system.
Medicinal Marijuana has been shown to make chemotherapy side effects more tolerable, as well as the chemotherapy itself more efficient in treating cancers. Texas is the home to the leading cancer center in the world, and we are denying our patients the best care options.
Our state currently faces an opioid epidemic. Opioid medications cause a host of complications, ranging from constipation to liver damage. Medicinal marijuana has proven to be a more effective for pain relief, while leaving no lasting side effects. When looking at cost, a 6 month supply of CBD oil costs about the same as most insurance plan's co-pay for a single month of a class 2 controlled substance pain management medication.
Marijuana also has economic impacts we cannot ignore, especially as our state faces budget crisis. Conservative studies estimate that legalizing marijuana would bring in $100M of tax revenue in the 12 months alone. It's also estimated to create 80,000 jobs statewide.