I don’t agree with Joe Straus on a lot of things, he’s a Republican after all, but I have to say he’s shown real leadership as Speaker of the Texas House and it’s a real shame Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick aren’t more like him. For that matter it’s a shame that the Republican leadership at the federal level isn’t more like him.
Here in Texas Gov. Abbott has called a special session of the legislature to deal with, among things, Dan Patrick’s bathroom emergency. I don’t mean he has food poisoning or some such, I’m talking about his burning desire to require that the bathroom you use matches the gender on your birth certificate. Now, like
North Carolina before us if the
legislature passes his bill and Gov. Abbott signs it, Texas
stands to lose $3 billion a year in tourism spending of which $412 million
would be lost by San Antonio
and the surrounding area, according to a study by the Perryman Group for the
San Antonio Tourism Council. That translates into a heckuva lot of jobs lost
over a solution in search of a problem.
The other non-sense Patrick is pushing and Abbott is caving in on is school vouchers.
already underfunds public education and the state keeps reducing its share of
that funding, school vouchers will simply reduce the total available for public
schools while giving a discount to folks wealthy enough to send their kids to
private schools. Don’t forget that private schools don’t typically operate in
rural areas so 80% of the state would never see one anyway.
Joe Straus isn’t having any of it, last week he told school board members from across Texas at a conference in San Antonio “Somebody is going to pay for public education, it’s either going to come from the state or it’s going to from local property taxes. If we want real property tax reform we need real reform of school finance.” He explained that the way to improve public education and reduce property taxes is to increase state funding for education but legislation to regulate bathrooms and offer state money for private school tuition is wrongheaded and counterproductive.
At the federal level Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues hiding the ball on healthcare bill. There has been no public hearing, there has been no published text of the bill. In fact, according to Senate Finance Committee Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), he doesn’t intend to hold a hearing. Apparently Hatch knows the bill will cause problems for Republicans if it is opened for debate. He claims that he’s getting no cooperation from Democrats on the healthcare bill but perhaps it’s because he won’t let them see it in order for them to offer any suggestions or even opinions.
It isn’t just Democrats who can’t see the bill, the Republican leadership is hiding it from the American Medical Association, the Association of Hospitals, and the American Cancer Society. So if you aren’t a lobbyist for an insurance company it’s a secret. That’s not the way Democrats handled the Affordable Care Act in 2009. That bill had months of hearings in several committees in the Senate alone and the those were public hearings unlike the smoke filled room deal McConnell and his lackeys like Hatch are working out.
If we have to have a Republican in the White House why couldn’t it be Joe Straus?
Published in the Seguin Gazette June 23, 2017