State of Texas: Groups aim to influence decisions in the session

AUSTIN (KXAN) — State lawmakers will make big decisions on policy when the next session of the Texas Legislature begins on Tuesday. But a lot of those decisions will be based research from groups outside the Capitol.

“We believe every Texan should be healthy, well-educated, and financially secure,” said Ann Beeson, CEO of the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “What we do is use data to advance fact-based policy solutions that give everyone a fair chance.”

Education is one focus of the CPPP. Beeson is hopeful that lawmakers will keep promises to fix the way Texas pays for public schools.

“We’re delighted that the presumptive Speaker of the House, Dennis Bonnen, and many other leaders have said that school finance is a top priority,” Beeson said.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is also watching the school finance debate, and making sure lawmakers know their point of view. TPPF is the largest public policy foundation in Texas. Executive Director Kevin Roberts describes the foundation as “right of center.”

“We hear a lot of chatter about more money for education,” Roberts said. “I think the first thing that needs to happen is that we streamline the school finance system.”

Roberts says it’s important that lawmakers focus on property tax relief.

“The number one issue that Texans want to happen is that this year’s property tax bill is lower than last year’s.”

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