We recently voted on House Bill 4 (HB 4) which will establish funding for a high-quality Pre-K program here in Texas. This bill will enable us as a state to offer a free, half-day prekindergarten program to children: whose families are in poverty, who are unable to speak or understand English, who are homeless or in foster care, or whose parents are on active military duty. HB 4 is not only an investment in our children, but it is also an investment in the future of our state. It is imperative that we provide our kids with the tools that they need to succeed, but for too long the children with less have suffered the most.
So many working parents long to give their kids the opportunity to take advantage of pre-k programs at an early age, but they could not do so due to a lack of sufficient resources. This legislation will help a lot of people in this state and I am happy to say that we were able to pass it out of the House with bipartisan support.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have a long way to go. In fact, most of my colleagues and I want to eventually get legislation to the House floor that will provide free FULL DAY Pre-K. I know we will get there eventually, but HB 4 is just the first step, and it still needs to get passed out of the Senate before it becomes law.
With a little over a month left in this legislative session, the stakes in our state are at an alltime high. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be debating some very controversial bills, including ones on open-carry and property tax breaks. We still have a lot of work to do, and many of the bills coming down the pipeline won’t receive the same sort of bipartisan support that the Pre-K bill received.
Keep in mind that my job as your voice in Austin is not only to pass legislation, but also and more importantly to kill bad legislation. The House passed a good bill; I am going to make sure we can’t say the same for the bad ones.
Keep the Faith, Keep the Fight!