By Rep. Trent Ashby
Representing District 9
After another long and productive week in Austin, I was delighted to head home for a long weekend with family to celebrate the Easter holiday.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, a celebration the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I hope we take time to reflect on what the Easter holiday represents — the grace of an awesome God who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son so that we might be forgiven of our sins and granted everlasting life.
He is risen.
With that, here’s an update for your State Capitol.
After 12 hours of debate on the House floor, the Texas House approved House Bill 1, which represents the House’s proposal on how the state should allocate our taxpayer dollars for the next biennium. Throughout the budget debate, lawmakers proposed amendments to the budget, suggesting changes that range from small adjustments to funding formulas to major overhauls of statewide programs.
While crafting the state budget is a long and arduous process, I believe the budget the Texas House approved late Thursday evening represents a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to addressing our state’s most pressing issues.
Perhaps the most notable provision included in House Bill 1 is the dedication of $17.3 billion to property tax relief, which represents the largest property tax cut in Texas History. This provision also includes a 25-cent tax compression of school district property taxes and a $6.8 billion reduction in recapture payments.
Property tax relief has been a top priority for me this session and I was proud to work with my House colleagues throughout the budget-writing process to dedicate a historic investment that will help reduce the property tax burden for all Texans.
House Bill 1 also prioritized our public-school students and teachers by dedicating $60.3 billion to fully fund school districts, which increased the state’s share of public education to over 50 percent for the first time in more than a decade.
The budget also includes $3.5 billion for a well-deserved cost-of-living adjustment for our retired educators. Some other highlights of House Bill 1 include $4.6 billion to maintain our commitment to border security efforts, $1.6 billion for school safety grants, and $629 million to support rural water projects and infrastructure upgrades.
Overall, House Bill 1 reflects a thoughtful and responsible approach to addressing our state’s most pressing needs. From property tax relief to border security, House Bill 1 prioritizes every Texan by dedicating dollars to a wide range of issues while also remaining well below the constitutional spending limit.
The mobile office is on the road again and we look forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: April 12 at the Polk County Commissioner’s Court Room in Livingston from 9-11 a.m., or at the Tyler County Courthouse in Woodville from 1:30-3:30 p.m., April 19 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9-11 a.m., or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762 and our Capitol office at (512) 463-0508. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.
Trent Ashby represents District 9, which includes Trinity County, in the Texas Legislature.