Issues Important to All of Us

Agriculture

In Central Texas, agriculture is not just an important sector of the economy, it is a legacy and part of our heritage. Even citizens in our towns and cities identify with the rural culture. Therefore, it is imperative we have public policy that supports our ag friends and neighbors. Issues that must be addressed include:

  • Private Property Rights
  • Comprehensive water plans
  • Feral hogs
  • Reform in agriculture income evaluation

Education

Free public education is an inherent part of the American experiment in self-government.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson

Article 7 Section 1 of the Texas Constitution states “it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the state to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”

Our goal should be great education that reflects our Texas values, that produces a world class work force and that allows Texas to excel in the arts and sciences.

Rule of Law

We need to stop the war on law enforcement. Let me say it again: The war on law enforcement MUST be stopped.

We need to strengthen the criminal justice system; we need a judicial system that in all cases backs the rule of law.

We need safeguards to protect our citizens from over-zealous elected officials who want to overextend their constitutional mandate.

Election integrity is a vital component of rule of law. Every successful business conducts periodic audits to identify where it is successful, as well as where it needs to improve. Is the most basic right of people to fair elections any less important?  

Border security must mean not only heightened efforts on the Rio Grande, but enforcement efforts in all areas of the state. The Legislature can use its power of the purse not only to fully fund such programs, but also to review the budgets of all state agencies to defund counter productive programs. Local governments must comply under penalty of law. Texas Strong demands nothing short of this.

Energy Grid

An issue that is glossed over in Austin, but on the minds of many Texans, is the catastrophe of the winter of 2021. Lack of oversight and policy failures produced the life threatening event. Energy experts state off the record that little was done to correct the situation; “superficial” and “Band-Aids” were words used to describe Austin’s efforts. “If the same weather patterns occur this winter, we will see the same results,” was one chilling comment. Texans deserve better.

Economic Growth

Texas alone would rank 9th in the nations of the world in terms of GDP. We must continue the policies that produced the “Texas Economic Miracle”: low taxes, light sensible regulation, efficient tort reforms and a business-friendly climate. We must continue to step in to protect small business, local business and family businesses. Economic growth means economic opportunity, good jobs and thriving communities. These are goals worth fighting for.

Property Taxes

Property tax is the main source of tax revenue for local governments (cities, counties, school districts, special districts). State revenues come from sales taxes, fees and royalties. Historically percentages of school district revenues:

1985

40 percent locally funded

50 percent state funded

10 percent federally funded

1995

45 percent locally funded

45 percent state funded

10 percent federally funded

2015

53 percent locally funded

37 percent state funded

10 percent federally funded

As state funding as a percentage decreased, local funding (i.e. property tax) was forced up. Hence the rise in property tax bills. A return to historic percentage rates, with the provision of lowering local taxes for property owners, would make fiscal sense.

For local governments the state has passed on the need for increased property taxes through unfunded mandates. The state constitution requires a balanced budget, but state lawmakers have circumvented this by spending up to the limit and then requiring local governments to increase their revenue needs.

Want to Help the
Lamar Lewis for State Senate Campaign

Start typing and press Enter to search