This Week in Texas: August 12, 2020

Posted August 12, 2020 in The Mignon Memo

Opening Texas schools could be 2020’s top election issue.

Public education employs a large number of Texans and is largely funded by property taxes. In addition to health and education, many factors will affect the reopening of Texas schools, including transportation, food and janitorial services, policing, and more.

“Safely getting Texas students back to school — virtually or actually — could be the best evidence between now and the election that official responses to the pandemic are working.”

Texas Universities have begun to brace for a financial hit due to many unforeseen challenges throughout 2020.

In May Gov. Greg Abbott asked state agencies to cut costs by 5% after a blow to the state budget which came with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas universities are facing budgetary crises related to shutting down campuses and moving instruction to online and hybrid models. To tighten their belts and produce budget cuts, universities are enforcing hiring freezes, furloughs, and layoffs, as well as eliminating new job openings. Some programs and sports may also be eliminated.

The pandemic raises this question: Should the Texas Legislature meet for 140 days?

Traditionally, the Texas Legislature meets every odd year for 140 days. The pandemic raises the question of whether or not the 87th Texas Legislature should meet for the entire 140 days in 2021.

State Senator Pat Fallon has been chosen as the nominee for the recently opened congressional contest for Congressional District 4.

 An election will need to be held to replace Senator Fallon’s Senate District 30 seat, which encompasses areas such as Denton, Wichita Falls, Stephenville, and McKinney.