Better East Texas: Texas priorities

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:02 AM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas legislature is officially back in session and, for the next 140 days, at least, you will be seeing the Texas government at its finest – and hopefully not its worst. While republicans control both the Texas House and Senate, and while you would think that all the state’s top leaders would be on the same page, the idea of being on the same page may not be the case on some issues. The state of Texas is enjoying an unprecedented revenue surplus which is allowing lawmakers to consider funding some big priorities. Governor Greg Abbott wants to initiate a one-time reduction in property taxes with a refund to homeowners. That is great but it does exclude renters and non-property tax paying residents. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wants to pour a portion of the surplus into strengthening the power grid in Texas which would help most everyone across the state but wouldn’t offer financial rebates to taxpayers. So, the 2 most powerful positions in the state may be at odds on their priorities and, if they collide, Texans risk being the losers. Our state leaders must work together on priorities and put Texans – Texans that elected them and Texans that pay their salary - first. Our state is in the unique position of having a financial windfall while nearly every other state is facing either minimal surpluses or even budget shortfalls. Work together, don’t screw this up – and set the stage for Texas to continue to lead the nation in nearly every economic metric – and that will make for a Better East Texas.