June 20th is the final day for Governor Abbott to sign or veto a piece of legislation passed in the 87th Legislative Session. The Governor also has the option to not sign or veto a bill, effectively allowing the legislation to become law without his signature. While many legislators wait patiently to learn the fate of their bills, I’ve been fortunate enough to have earned approval from the Governor on all 12 bills of mine that were on his desk. None of this is possible, however, without input from you. Almost all of the Ashby bills that were signed into law recently were borne of out communication from individuals across our district. Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Austin and please never hesitate to reach out if you have an idea for future legislation.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…
It’s been said that no document more closely mirrors the morals and priorities of a group of people quite like the budget they adhere to from year to year. State government is no different and, as such, the next stop on our tour of notable bills from the most recent legislative session is Senate Bill 1, our state’s biennial budget.
You will recall that the Legislature’s only constitutional duty each session is to pass a balanced state budget for the next two years, and I’m pleased to once again report that we accomplished our goal. The 2022-2023 state budget appropriated nearly $250 billion dollars in state and federal funds. This amount stayed under all constitutional and statutory spending limits, and once again maintained growth slower than population plus inflation.
Notably, this budget kept the state’s commitment to fully fund the transformational changes to the public education system made in 2019, while also including a significant infusion of funds to help schools and students affected by COVID-19. Additionally, the state increased our share of the contribution to the Teacher Retirement System and covered the increase in healthcare premiums. It also dedicates nearly $100 million to fund alternatives to abortion and once again banned abortion providers from receiving state funding. In the public safety realm, we increased — to over $1 billion — our commitment to funding border security in the absence of support from the federal government and provided a much needed pay raise for correctional officers at maximum security facilities in Texas.
I was also the proud sponsor of several successful budget riders and amendments added after the initial bill was filed. For example, on the issue of rural healthcare, I received unanimous support from my colleagues when proposing a measure to spend an additional $123.5 million to fund rural and community hospitals throughout Texas. Additionally, the Legislature showed how we truly #BackTheBlue, when my addition to the budget to increase salaries for all commissioned state law enforcement on Schedule C was finally approved.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.