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Chairman West addresses the ‘Clear and Present Danger’

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LTC Allen B. West (Ret.), Republican Party of Texas Chairman

AUSTIN — “There are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed and punished before the country should move on to reconciliation.” — Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Columnist and MSNBC Contributor

“There has to be consequences. And once you get those consequences, people have to take a second look at their actions, and they have to be afraid to do the types of violence that we saw last week.” — Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times Magazine

“Southern states are not red states, they are oppressed states. The only way our Country is going to heal is to liberate southern states.” — US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York)

Perhaps there are those of you who recognize the title of this week’s missive from the Tom Clancy novel of like name. Of course, there was the film adaptation, with Harrison Ford playing the protagonist, Jack Ryan. The book, and movie, centered on the “clear and present danger” that drug cartels posed to the national security of these United States of America. I would kindly offer that when one considers the aforementioned quotes, we are looking at an even more grave clear and present danger to this Constitutional Republic.

It bears repeating, once again, the maxim of former Obama Chief-of-Staff and Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

The progressive socialist left, known as the Democrat Party, has taken free license to use the condemned events of Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to openly discuss such abjectly disgusting concepts as deprogramming and re-educating American citizens. Needless to say, we have all heard of these ideals previously in history, from people such as Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, the Kim family of North Korea, Pol Pot, Castro, Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolas Maduro. History has taught us — well those who are still studying history — words such as stalag, gulag, work camp, concentration camp, indoctrination camp, and re-education camp, with the latter currently being used against the Uighur Muslims in China.

We have, in the past week, heard use of the word ‘censorship’ more often, and the CEO of Twitter has informed us, the American people, that we can expect more of it. Censorship is just a nice PC way of saying fascism. As a matter of fact, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the House Oversight Committee, also lamented this past week about the need for the government to “rein in the media.” Something tells me she is not talking about CNN or MSNBC, certainly not taxpayer funded, left-leaning PBS.

The left has fully adopted, and is implementing, the 13 Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals, namely these:

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.

11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. 

It is imperative that we realize the progressive socialist left — these Marxists — do not subscribe to the premise of hypocrisy. They do not embrace any semblance of rules (save Alinsky’s radical ones), standards, or constraints. What they will do is encircle their enemy with their imposed rules, standards, and ideals of decency, all for their gain.

Take for instance, Democrat Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri, whose floor speech last week was laughable. Here is someone speaking to condemn the violence of January 6th when she actually led a violent march against two people. Yes, Cori Bush is a BLM activist who led the mob that called for the rape, murder, and burning of the home of Patty and Mark McCloskey of St. Louis. I know this for a fact since my wife Angela and I hosted the McCloskey’s for an event here in North Texas, and they stayed at our home for two evenings.

If we are to believe that there is some standard, or language, that the House Democrats are embracing as “incitement to violence,” heck, then why is Cori Bush a member of the US Congress? I demand that she be charged for her actions, which are on tape, and removed from Congress. After all, the Texas Democrats are accusing Texas Republican members of Congress of “inciting an insurrection” because they did not vote for the absurd impeachment charade…and they are fundraising off of that.

As well, Texas Democrats are demanding Senator Ted Cruz be disbarred because he objected to the elector slate from states where there were clearly unconstitutional issues of changing election law, and not by state legislators.

Funny, I have not heard a single Texas Democrat elected official address the violent history of Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Sen. Kamala Harris, or Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who claimed Antifa was a myth. I have not heard a single Texas Democrat elected official condemn the violence over countless months that we have seen at the hands of Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

Let us not forget that it was four years ago at President Trump’s inauguration when violent leftist mobs took to the streets in Washington DC burning cars and destroying property, etc. Heck, I think they were rewarded with BLM Square in DC. The day after the inauguration, it was Madonna who stated, in Washington DC, that she dreamed of “blowing up the White House.” Would any Texas Democrat official like to condemn this?

This begs me to ask a very simple question. Knowing how delusional, vindictive, maniacal, and violent the left has been, in the face of Democrat silence: why would our own Texas Republican State House majority vote last week to allow Texas Democrats to hold Committee Chair positions? Please, spare me the offensive and condescending excuse of “Colonel West, you don’t understand our traditions and how things work.” If y’all recall, my Monday Message from November 9, 2020 addressed this issue.

See, Texas Democrat elected officials represent a clear and present danger to the Legislative Priorities of the Republican Party of Texas getting passed. Once again, elected Republicans come up with these rules, traditions, that mean nothing to the Texas Democrats. But, they use increasing and unceasing pressure to force weak Republicans to acquiesce to their demands. Does anyone believe that a Texas State House majority under Democrats, socialist leftists, would offer Committee Chair positions to Republicans? Hmm, how many Republicans are Committee Chairs in the California State Assembly?

The progressive socialist leftists know that they have two years to run amok before the midterm elections. They have not forgotten what happened to Barack Obama in 2010. They are going to seize this moment to inflict as much harm upon our nation and potentially make it impossible to ever be unseated from federal government power. Here is what must happen:

  1. The Republican states, and states with Republican state legislative majorities, need to toughen up. They all need to put together 10th Amendment committees. We must have better coordination between red State AGs and State Legislatures to serve as a bulwark against the leftist ideological agenda. We need to start thinking about how to respond to a “packed” Supreme Court…which in my estimation would be illegitimate. Republican states must become “Liberty Sanctuaries.”

  2. Republican State Legislatures need to examine the possibilities of divesting their state portfolios of Big Tech stocks who are advocating censorship of American citizens. This is already happening in Florida. Hmmm, why ain’t Texas leading on this? As well, it should be made clear that any tech companies in Texas embracing the idea of censorship of American citizens are not welcomed in the Lone Star State.

  3. Republican State Legislatures must enact strong election integrity laws, meaning voter registration roll reviews, voter ID laws, and firmly disallowing universal mail-in ballots. Hey, Texas Democrats, that is not racist, and I am Black…Oops, forgot, Joe Biden said that I ain’t really Black. Remember, states and counties run elections, not the federal government. But, beware, Nancy Pelosi already has a House Bill ready that would nationalize elections.

Bottom line, Republicans need to “cowboy da hell up” and use Alinsky Rule #8 against the left.

In closing, I ask y’all to refrain from sending me emails and text messages about how scared you are, or that the country is lost. That is exactly what the left wants you to feel. The Spirit of Texas is not one of fear, it is one of resolute and principled defiance. Not acquiescence or appeasement to Democrats and giving them Committee Chair positions.

If there are moments when you are starting to feel a little despondent, I leave you with the mock-Latin motto of World War II US Army General “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell, “Illegitimi Non Carborundum!”

Steadfast and Loyal,

LTC Allen B. West (Ret.)
Chairman
Republican Party of Texas

Renowned Kilgore College Rangerettes visit Cy Falls Sky Dancers

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Cypress Ranch High School graduate and current Kilgore College Rangerette team member Bailey Stark visits with the Cypress Falls High School Sky Dancers on Jan. 8. Stark and fellow Cypress Ranch alumna Hannah Moss visited the Sky Dancers to help recruit potential new Rangerettes. (Photo by Freja Cini, Cypress Falls HS)

By Freja Cini, Cypress Falls HS
CYPRESS — The Kilgore College Rangerettes pride themselves as the world’s first best-known collegiate drill team, and in an effort to recruit potential new members, current Rangerettes and CFISD alumni Bailey Stark and Hannah Moss visited the Cypress Falls High School Sky Dancers on Jan. 8.
Founded in 1939, Rangerettes utilize the time during winter break each year to recruit dancers from high school across Texas. Moss and Stark, who are both Cypress Ranch High School graduates, also offered to teach the Sky Dancers a dance combination during their visit.
Sky Dancer Assistant Director Caitlin Beresford is a former Rangerette and has implemented many principles from her own experience into the program at Cypress Falls.
“The Rangerettes are known for their precision and discipline, as well as the classic red, white and blue uniform,” Beresford said. “When you explain some of the traditions to people it can sound a little crazy, but it definitely teaches you how to work hard, earn your spot when working towards anything, live in the moment without fear of the future, and appreciate what you have.”
Stark, who serves as left end lieutenant for the Rangerettes, taught the Sky Dancers a classic Rangerette dance routine, which combines the elements and the precision expected in the collegiate drill team.
“I loved every second of teaching the Cy Falls drill team,” Stark said. “In dance, it is important for you to take some time to find excitement in your passion, and I tried my best to help the drill team do just that. They were extremely hard working and receptive to what I had to share. I would love to work with these girls again as I had a blast.”
The Sky Dancers welcomed the challenge, responding with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn an advanced routine. Members said the experience helped bring drill team members out of their comfort zones, which in turn, will prepare them for future contests.
“The routine we learned was not a normal dance that we would learn in Sky Dancers,” senior Captain Isabel Figueroa said. “It was more of a disco jazz routine and super upbeat. We learned it at a faster pace than we usually learn our dances.”
In addition to teaching the routine, Moss and Stark talked to the Sky Dancers about the drill team experience at the collegiate level and the bond dance members develop during their time together.
“Working with these Rangerettes was such an honor,” senior Social Officer Michaele Brooks said. “To be a college dancer takes true discipline and hard work, so being taught by these ladies was empowering and motivating. While our team had the opportunity to dance with these two ladies, they also spoke to us about their team and everything they are involved in as a Rangerette. It was lovely to hear about their bond and motivation as a collegiate drill team and compare it to how our drill team strives to do the same.”

NRA Leaves New York to Reincorporate in Texas, Announces New Strategic Plan

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(courtesy NRA)

Fairfax, VA – The National Rifle Association of America (“NRA”) today announced it will restructure the Association as a Texas nonprofit to exit what it believes is a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York. The move will enable long-term, sustainable growth and ensure the NRA’s continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York.

The NRA plan, which involves utilizing the protection of the bankruptcy court, has the Association dumping New York and organizing its legal and regulatory matters in an efficient forum. The move comes at a time when the NRA is in its strongest financial condition in years.

The NRA will continue with the forward advancement of the enterprise – confronting anti-Second Amendment activities, promoting firearm safety and training, and advancing public programs across the United States. There will be no immediate changes to the NRA’s operations or workforce.

The Association will seek court approval to reincorporate the Association in the State of Texas – home to more than 400,000 NRA members and site of the 2021 NRA Annual Meeting in Houston.

“This strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress,” says NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre. “Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York.’ The NRA is pursuing reincorporating in a state that values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and will join us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom. This is a transformational moment in the history of the NRA.”

The restructuring plan aims to streamline costs and expenses, proceed with pending litigation in a coordinated and structured manner, and realize many financial and strategic advantages.

The Path Forward

The NRA will move quickly through the restructuring process. Its day-to-day operations, training programs, and Second Amendment advocacy will continue as usual.

By exiting New York, where the NRA has been incorporated for approximately 150 years, the NRA abandons a state where elected officials have weaponized the legal and regulatory powers they wield to penalize the Association and its members for purely political purposes.

In the summer of 2018, then New York Attorney General candidate Letitia James vowed that, if elected, she would use the powers of her office to investigate the “legitimacy” of the NRA.

Without a shred of evidence to support the claim, she called the Association a “terrorist organization” and a “criminal enterprise.” As promised, she commenced an “investigation” upon being elected to the Office of NYAG and, predictably, filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA just prior to the November 2020 national election.

The NRA filed a lawsuit in August 2020 against the NYAG similar to its lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services, filed in 2018. The NRA pursues the defendants for attempting to “blacklist” the organization and its financial partners in violation of their First Amendment rights. The NRA will continue those legal actions.

“Under this plan, the Association wisely seeks protection from New York officials who it believes have illegally weaponized their powers against the NRA and its members,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA in those cases. “The NRA will continue the fight to protect the interests of its members in New York – and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy.”

With respect to its headquarters, the NRA has formed a committee to study opportunities for relocating segments of its business operations to Texas or other states. The Association will analyze whether a move of its headquarters, now located in Fairfax, Virginia, is in the best interests of its members. In the meantime, the NRA’s general business operations will remain in Fairfax.

To facilitate its strategic plan and restructuring, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Chapter 11 proceedings are routinely utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs.

The NRA also announced Marschall Smith will serve as Chief Restructuring Officer. A former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of 3M Company, Smith has more than 35 years of legal and business experience with an emphasis on compliance, corporate finance, and corporate governance.

“I am honored to join the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization during this important time,” Smith says. “Our goal is to work through the restructuring process efficiently and quickly – even as NRA leadership approaches 2021 with renewed energy and an expanding national platform. This plan has no impact on the NRA’s most important goal:  serving its membership and protecting the Second Amendment.”

The NRA will propose a plan that provides for payment in full of all valid creditors’ claims. The Association expects to uphold commitments to employees, vendors, members, and other community stakeholders.

“The plan allows us to protect the NRA and go forward with a renewed focus on Second Amendment advocacy,” says NRA President Carolyn Meadows. “We will continue to honor the trust placed in us by employees, members and other stakeholders – following a blueprint that allows us to become the strongest NRA ever known.”

Additional Information:

Patrick J. Neligan of Neligan LLP, Dallas, Texas, is serving as debtor’s counsel; William (Wit) Davis is counsel to the NRA Board of Directors and its Special Litigation Committee; Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, Dallas, Texas, serves as special counsel to the NRA. To learn more, please visit www.nra.org/forward.

About the NRA:

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s largest and oldest civil rights organization. Approximately five million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and is the leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. The NRA’s 2021 Annual Meetings and Exhibits will be held September 3 – 5, 2021 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Follow the NRA on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Constables and Cy-Fair Firefighters respond to Cypress shooting

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CYPRESS — According the the Cy-Fair Fire Department, emergency crews responded to a shooting in the 20200 block of Baron Brook Dr. Friday afternoon in Cypress.

The CFFD reported that a 16-year-old male was treated by EMS medics on the scene and transported in critical condition.

Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office is working the scene.

2021-2022 CFISD Cypress Fairbanks ISD calendars for the upcoming school year

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The initial 2021-2022 Cy-Fair ISD school calendar. (courtesy CFISD Communications)

CYPRESS — The CFISD Board of Trustees approved the calendar committee’s recommendations for the 2021-2022 instructional calendar during its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 14, 2021.

State law mandates that instruction for the school year may not begin before the fourth Monday in August. For the 2021-2022 instructional year, the earliest start date is Aug. 23—which will serve as the first day of school.

In the fall semester of 2020, a calendar committee was organized to develop a calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. The committee was made up of district-wide representation, including teachers, parents, community members, campus administrators and support staff. The committee sought public input online while working to construct the calendar using the 75,600 minutes needed to complete a school year required by law.

The committee recommended a calendar to the school board that will conclude the 2021-2022 school year on May 26, 2022.

In its meetings, the committee discussed various components of developing the instructional calendars before arriving at a consensus.

2021-2022 Cy-Fair ISD important dates:

  • students begin school on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021;
  • Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021, is a student/staff holiday;
  • the calendar has a five-day Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 22-26, 2021);
  • an 11-day winter break is scheduled for students (Dec. 20, 2021-Jan. 3, 2022);
  • a five-day spring break is scheduled for March 14-18, 2022;
  • Good Friday, April 15, 2022, is a student/staff holiday;
  • the school year will end on May 26, 2022 for students;
  • the calendar features five teacher work days/school closure make-up days that are also student holidays: Sept. 24, 2021, Oct. 22, 2021, Jan. 14, 2022, Feb. 11, 2022 and April 18, 2022; and
  • Feb. 14 and May 27, 2022 are designated as inclement weather makeup days.

Click the linked text below to download a PDF of the corresponding 2020/2021 school calendar.

The initial 2021-2022 Cy-Fair ISD school calendar. (courtesy CFISD Communications)

To download a copy of the 2021-2022 school calendar, click here.

The initial 2021-2022 Cy-Fair ISD school calendar in Spanish. (courtesy CFISD Communications)

To download a copy of the 2021-2022 school calendar in Spanish, click here.

 

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Optional Beginning-of-Year Assessments Data Help Quantify Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Texas Students

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AUSTIN – January 14, 2021 – After the cancellation of the end of school year 2019-20 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®)  tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) offered optional beginning-of-year (BOY) assessments so schools across the state could measure how well students learned the prior grade-level’s knowledge and skills. With that information, schools and teachers could make adjustments to curriculum and instruction for the fall of the 2020-21 school year, adjustments that would be necessary to help maximize student learning given the disruptions caused by COVID-19 in the spring of 2020.

Students were able to access the assessments as a printable PDF or by using an online platform either at home or at school. Results cannot be tabulated for those who used the printable PDF version of the assessment. 648,609 students from 334 different school systems took the optional BOY assessments online.

Researchers were able to use statistical techniques to extrapolate this sample to the entire state, effectively allowing results from the BOY to measure the extent students lost academic knowledge and skills relative to normal years as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns from March through early fall 2020.

The results of the study indicate students experienced 3.2 months of instructional loss from the closures, in addition to the typical 2.5 months of summer learning loss. To gain greater insight into what the data from these optional assessments revealed and what statistical methods were used to reach this conclusion, visit Assessment Reports and Studies | Texas Education Agency.

BOY assessments were available from July 27, 2020, until October 16, 2020 and were designed to diagnose student understanding of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) from the previous school year. Therefore, the BOY assessments were administered to students based on their prior year enrolled grade level. The BOY assessments covered the same grades, subjects and courses that are provided for STAAR and were constructed from previously released STAAR test items.

Examining changes from 2019 to the 2020 BOY tests is intended to provide a useful starting point to quantify the impact on learning that COVID-19 has had on Texas students as of the beginning of the current school year.

It adds to the pre-existing research base, including the October 2020 “How Kids Are Performing: Tracking the Impact of COVID-19 on Reading and Mathematics Achievement” report from Renaissance  and NWEA’s “Learning During COVID-19” report issued in November 2020. Results from STAAR tests taken at the end of this year will provide a more complete picture of COVID’s ongoing impact during the 2020-21 school year.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is not using data from the BOY assessments for any accountability purposes. Results for individual students and campuses were used by school systems and teachers to plan and implement any necessary instructional adjustments for the 2020-21 school year. Aggregate results of the data were used in this research study.

Recession cuts how much lawmakers can spend with the next state budget, but decrease isn’t as bad as feared

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Texas Tribune logo

Texas lawmakers will enter the legislative session this week with an estimated $112.5 billion available to allocate for general-purpose spending in the next two-year state budget, a number that’s down slightly from the current budget but is significantly higher than what was estimated this summer when the coronavirus began to devastate the economy.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that number Monday in his biennial revenue estimate, which sets the amount lawmakers can commit to spending when they write a new budget this year. But he acknowledged that Texas’ economic future remains “clouded in uncertainty” and that numbers could change in the coming months.

Hegar also announced a nearly $1 billion deficit for the current state budget that lawmakers must make up, a significantly smaller shortfall than the $4.6 billion one Hegar expected over the summer. That number, however, doesn’t account for 5% cuts to state agencies’ budgets that Gov. Greg Abbott, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick ordered this summer, or any supplemental changes to the budget lawmakers will have to make.

Hegar’s estimates portend a difficult budget-writing session for lawmakers. But Hegar acknowledged that things could have been a lot worse. The $112.5 billion available is down from $112.96 billion for the current budget.

He said financial estimate was not as dire as expected over the summer due in part to Texans staying home more often in 2020 and spending money on “staycations instead of vacations,” as well as a new online sales tax collection revenue stream that came into effect after a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, which allowed the state to collect $1.3 billion from online retailers last year.

More than 29,000 Texans have died from COVID-19 since March, and one out of five hospital beds in Texas are occupied by COVID-19 patients, underscoring the sustained severity of the virus. As a result, business across the state has been disrupted — more than 4 million Texans have applied for jobless relief during the pandemic, including more than 43,000 unemployment applications filed with the Texas Workforce Commission over the course of the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

The Texas unemployment rate was 8.1% in November, the most recent month for which numbers are available in Texas. That is up from 6.9% in October. Economists have said there will not be a strong economic recovery until the coronavirus is contained, but lawmakers will move ahead anyway to attempt to write the budget during an economic recession that has dragged on for nearly a year.

With nearly $1 billion less to work with compared to the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers could tap the Economic Stabilization Fund, also called the rainy day fund, which is funded mostly through crude oil and natural gas production taxes. The economic recession and oil crash in the 1980s led lawmakers to create the fund — there will be $11.6 billion in the fund for lawmakers to use if they choose to do so.

“Comptroller Hegar’s revenue estimate this morning offers both bad and good news,” said Dale Craymer, president of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, which represents businesses on fiscal policy. “The pandemic and the associated impact on state revenues means Texas faces budget challenges at the very time Texans may need government help more than ever; however, the numbers are manageable.”

The $1 billion deficit, Craymer noted, is significantly less than the $4.3 billion one lawmakers dealt with in 2011 — and lawmakers have more money in the rainy day fund this time around.

As lawmakers think about short-term solutions to the economic calamity related to the coronavirus, Hegar wrote over the weekend that they must also think about long-term planning to eliminate “burdens on future generations.”

“Moody’s considers 203 of our 254 counties at high risk for scarce water resources, a risk mitigated through Texas Water Development Board water financing programs,” Hegar wrote in a column published in the Dallas Morning News. “Hurricanes pose a persistent threat in counties that contribute a third of Texas’ gross state product. … Our rate of uninsured people, among the nation’s highest, and high poverty rate present more long-term challenges. And more than 2 million Texas households don’t have high-speed internet, increasingly an essential requirement for education and work, especially in the wake of the pandemic.”

State Sen. Jane Nelson, the Republican chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said Monday’s revenue estimate “highlights the resiliency of our Texas economy.”

“Tough decisions remain, but I am confident we can pass a budget that meets our essential needs, maintains our commitment to education and follows the principles of fiscal responsibility that put us in a stronger position than other states to withstand this unprecedented pandemic,” Nelson said in a statement.

Dade Phelan, the presumptive speaker of the Texas House, told Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith on Monday that the budget news was “about where we thought we would be,” but also acknowledged, “we have a challenge ahead of us, there’s no doubt about it.”

Phelan, R-Beaumont, declined to say what would be off the table in the House for potential budget cuts, saying that lawmakers will have to look through the budget “with a fine-tooth comb.”

“We’ve got to go through every article, every agency, every receipt and look at it, holistically, obviously,” he told Smith during a virtual interview. “I have full faith in the Appropriations Committee that they will do a fantastic job.”

Eva DeLuna Castro, who oversees fiscal and budget policy at Every Texan, said Hegar’s estimate on Monday was “better than expected.”

“It’s very likely, though, with so much uncertainty, that in 2023 we may come back and things still aren’t recovered fully,” she said. “The past two recessions, it’s been like 40 months before Texas got back to where it was before the recession came along, and that is a long time to not have revenues keeping up with existing demands and then new things created by these dire economic circumstances we’re in the middle of.”

Cassandra Pollock contributed reporting.

Disclosure: The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and Every Texan have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/01/11/texas-legislature-state-budget/.

 

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

Pelosi Security Theater Shows Willingness to Violate Constitution

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GOA logo

Today, Gun Owners of America criticized certain illegal and unconstitutional measures implemented in the United States Capitol by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Following the breach of the Capitol Complex and the resignation of the Capitol Hill Police Chief, Representative Thomas Massie remarked that, “Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff.”

Under the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the acting sergeant-at-arms informed House members and staff: “Effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required [to] undergo security screening when entering the House Chamber” (emphasis added).

Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs commented: “This new ‘security measure’ wouldn’t have prevented a single crime or saved a single life when Capitol security failed on Wednesday January 6th, 2020.

“Instead, Speaker Pelosi’s ‘security theater’ is a direct attack on Members of Congress and staff who recently publicized their desire to carry firearms for self-defense while going to, from, and on Capitol Hill.

“More importantly, metal detectors and searches at the entrance to the House Floor are a violation of our Constitution,” Johnston said.

Not only does the Second Amendment protect the American right to keep and bear arms from being infringed, but Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution exempts Members of Congress “from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same.”

Further, while 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(1) grants the Capitol Police Board authority to issue regulations pertaining to the carrying of firearms on Capitol Grounds, 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(3) explicitly exempts (A) Members of Congress and (B) employees of Members of Congress.

“This unconstitutional and illegal attempt to enforce a gun-free zone on the House Chamber Floor reveals Speaker Pelosi’s willingness to violate any Article, Section, Clause, or Amendment of our Constitution that stands between her and the implementation of gun control,” Johnston said.

“If Members of Congress fail to recognize and oppose this illegal and unconstitutional infringement on their rights, they can never be counted on to recognize and defend the rights of the people.”

Secretary Hughs Convenes The 87th Texas Legislature

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Texas Secretary of State seal

AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs today convened the 87th Legislature’s regular session, presiding over the opening ceremonies for the Texas House of Representatives and conducting the election of the new Speaker of the House, Representative Dade Phelan.

“Our legislators have been entrusted by the people of Texas to confront the challenges and issues that our state faces and to do so in a way that is reflective of what it means to be a Texan–to approach adversity with unyielding determination, grit, honor, integrity, strength, and of course–with our Texas pride. Working collaboratively, we will help to build a brighter future for all Texans, and keep the Lone Star State the greatest state in the nation.”

The Texas Legislature operates under a biennial system and convenes at noon on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years for a maximum of 140 days. The 87th Legislature’s regular session begins January 12th, 2021, and will conclude May 31st, 2021.

CFISD Student of the Week: William Sharrett

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CFISD Student of the Week: William Sharrett (CFISD Communications)

CYPRESS — Owens Elementary School second grade student William Sharrett has been recognized by his teachers for excellence in writing.

School: Owens Elementary School

Age: 7

Grade: 2

 

Accomplishments: Sharrett continues to show passion for learning. His teachers acknowledge his continued growth in his writing, while his love for comic books has helped improve his reading.

Favorite class: “My favorite class is science because I want to learn more about things I don’t know yet.”

Favorite things to do after class: “Riding bikes, swimming and fishing.”

Favorite song:Girl Like You by Jason Aldean.”

Favorite website/app: “Minecraft because you can learn about how to build things with different materials.”

Favorite TV show:Total Drama because it has funny challenges and you can win money on the show.”

Favorite movie:Scoob! because it has both funny and sad parts.”

Ambition: “I want to go to the University of Texas and be an inventor.”

What topics/things are you passionate about?: “My family, my dog and learning at school.”

What can’t you live without?: “My family.”

What are you most looking forward to this semester?: “I look forward to getting good grades and learning about science.”

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