FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 7, 2019
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GUILLEN URGES EXTRA MONEY FOR EDUCATION
AUSTIN - Revenue for the State of Texas increased by $15 billion for the next two years, according to the Texas Comptroller. Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rural South Texas, said Monday he wants to put some of the extra funds toward public education.
"My colleagues and I will be looking hard this session at how to use these new funds for education, property tax reform, and other issues facing the great state of Texas," said Guillen. "Our kids are the future of Texas, and I think using some of these funds to follow recommendations by the Governor and the Public School Finance Commission will be good for Texas."
The Comptroller's report is an estimate for what Texas will have to spend for 2020-2021, and how much money Texas will have to fill shortfalls created by unexpected events such as Hurricane Harvey. Comptroller Glenn Hager touted Monday the strong growth of the Texas economy in 2018, assuring lawmakers that Texas will have enough money to pay for many of their top priorities.
Even with a strong economy heading into the 86th legislative session, lawmakers are already debating where to find funds for big issues like public education funding reform. The independent Texas Commission on Public School Finance recommended lawmakers restructure how Texas pays for public schools and research suggested an infusion of $3.5 billion into the public school system, among other things.
A recent proposal from Governor Gregg Abbott would cap local property tax increases at 2.5 percent and increase the State's share of public school funding. The proposal is vague on where the legislature would find the money, but Guillen says the extra revenue will help.
"People are always asking, rightfully, 'How are we going to pay for this or that?,"' added Guillen. "Hopefully this extra money coming in will help us pay for better education, property tax reform, etc."
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Senate projections are similar to the Comptroller's estimates. The Legislature convenes on Tuesday and will be in session until May.
Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen