As reported here before, Texas will hold its 2018 primary elections on March 6 — the first state in the country to do so — and hundreds of candidates across the state have filed to run for public office. Early voting begins Feb. 20. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two vote-getters will compete in a primary runoff on May 22.
Please keep in mind that the primaries are often the “real” election due to partisan gerrymandering and other factors.
For community and technical college educators, the key races, in addition to governor and lieutenant governor, are in the Texas House and Senate. The Texas Tribune has published a complete list of candidates in both parties for federal and state offices. Here is the link. Just scroll down to find your particular district races.
Here is a link to find out “Who Represents Me.”
In addition to appropriating prospective revenue for the community college instructional formula for the next two years, lawmakers will make key decisions on health and retirement benefits. Occasionally pedagogical issues arise such as the cost of textbooks, the core curriculum, and Guided Pathways.
The governor and lieutenant governor have both promised to put limits on property tax increases. Their targets are mainly independent school districts and other local governments, but community colleges could certainly be affected as well. Taxes have gone up mostly because the appraised values of homes and businesses have risen dramatically in many areas of the state. Localities need more revenue to accommodate a growing population.
With more revenue coming in to state coffers due to an expanding economy and low unemployment, you would think the 2019 Regular Session would be facing a surplus in dollars that will be available. However, prognosticators are saying that the budget will be tight. This will be the subject of a subsequent post.