Bailes: Results of legislative priority survey revealed

Ernest BailesBailes

By State Rep. Ernest Bailes

We thank each of you for taking our legislative priority survey. Your input is valued as we work to address the issues that you, the constituents of House District 18, feel are priorities.

Sharing the Results:  As of September 27, 2018, over 400 responses have been recorded. The overall consensus is that out of five topics considered, the top 3 issues of importance are: Illegal Immigration, Property Taxes, and Public School Finance. Numerous respondents noted that Abortion Restrictions and Constitutional Carry were important, but fell behind in their legislative importance.

Results Based on Priority  Ranking

Rank / Topic / % of Respondents’ Rankings

1st – Illegal Immigration — (34.8%)

2nd – Property Tax Reform — (36.2%)

3rd – Illegal Immigration — (25.0%)

4th – Constitutional Carry — (35.4%)

5th – Abortion Restrictions — (44.1%)

Next Topic considered / % of Respondents’ Rankings

Public School Finance — (34.3%)

Public School Finance — (27.5%)

Property Tax Reform — (24.7%)

The top three issues affect all tax paying citizens, whether directly or indirectly.  As one constituent responded, “Property tax reform and school finance are tied together. You can’t do one without the other.” And, another survey participant commented, “Schools and property owners need help. There has to be a solution that works for both, that can be come to, without politics blocking sensible results.”

I absolutely agree.

As we continue to prepare for the upcoming legislative session, I am focused on working to find solutions for HD 18 and the state. I am continuing my meetings with community members to discuss issues important to you: property taxes, school finance, and eminent domain reform.

There are no simple solutions, or one size fits all approaches, to solving the priorities of property tax reform or overhauling public school finance. What may work in one area, doesn’t necessarily fit our needs here in HD 18. We can make headway by confronting the challenges head-on. Thankfully, you have always been willing to share your input, and that matters most to me when attempting to solve these major statewide issues.

Other Topics that were based on comments added by respondents were:

Topic / #  of Comments

Property Tax Reform/Public School Finance – 33

Teacher Retirement System – 31

Untagged (more than one topic mentioned in same comment) – 24

Public Education/Testing – 12

Mental Health – 7

Elderly/Health Care –  7

Guns/Constitutional Carry – 5

Drugs/Opioids – 5

Illegal Immigration – 4

Gambling – 3

Dayton Train – 3

Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or comments about the survey or the upcoming legislative session. You may contact my office at 936-628-6687 or district18.bailes@house.texas.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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