Topic: Take Action

Defend Your Pension: Offer This Resolution at Your Party’s April 21 County/District Convention

A political attack on pensions for school employees and other public servants in Texas already has begun, and this coming Saturday you can do something about it. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, you can attend your party's county or senatorial-district convention and offer the resolution shown below in defense of your pension benefits. The resolution has been...

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Registration Deadlines for Two Key Elections in May

Next month, for the first time since the 2011 legislature inflicted deep cuts on public education, you will have a big opportunity to do something about it at the ballot box. The primary election on May 29 will determine Democratic and Republican nominees for the legislature (as well as the U.S. Congress and other offices). In many legislative districts, there...

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Taking Part in 2012 Party Conventions

Many of you are familiar with the Texas system of precinct conventions held on the evening of primary-election day, but that system will not apply this year. Because of scheduling delays due to the dispute over redistricting, both the Republican and Democratic parties are doing things differently in 2012. Instead of holding precinct conventions on primary night (May 29 this...

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Rally Saturday, March 24, to Save Texas Schools!

The folks who called the shots last session when state lawmakers cut deeply into funding for Texas schoolchildren are already back it again. (See the March 20 Hotline for details.) If they get their way, the 2013 session will bring not restoration of the $5.4 billion cut last year but rather even more cuts. We must not let them get...

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TRS-Care and TRS Pension Issues—Urgent Need to Make Your Voice Heard

Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab and members of Education Austin, our Austin ISD local affiliate, stood up for you at the Teacher Retirement System town hall in the state capital city Monday. Their mission: defending your guaranteed-benefit pension system and the TRS-Care retiree health plan against an assault we know is coming in the 2013 legislative session. A...

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State Revenue on the Rise, But Key Capitol Players See No Reason to Revisit School Cuts (Time to Change the Players!)

At a Texas House budget hearing Tuesday, state officials confirmed that state revenue is rising rapidly enough to produce a surplus of $1.6 billion for the current budget period and to boost the Rainy Day Fund to $7.3 billion. In fact, we’ve heard unofficially that the Rainy Day Fund is filling up so fast with oil and gas revenue that...

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Assessing the Election Returns

The November 8 elections produced a major repudiation of the nationwide attack on the bargaining rights of public employees. Voters in Ohio, by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent, repealed an anti-employee law that was portrayed by its backers as a national model.  In the face of this legislation scapegoating public employees for an economic crisis they did...

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On the November 8 Ballot: School Trustees, a Race for State Rep, Constitutional Amendments, Local Bonds and Tax Rates

On Tuesday, November 8, many Texans will find local matters as well as ten state constitutional amendments on their ballot. School trustees will be chosen by voters in Houston ISD, the state’s largest school district, and other locales, including Cy-Fair, North Forest, and Alief ISDs in the greater Houston area. In Bryan/College Station, voters filling a vacancy in Texas House...

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Help Parents Fight Corporate Bid to Escape School Taxes—Sign Online Petition

Tomorrow the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality meeting in Austin will have an unusual audience—a whole passel of parents who are none too happy about the bid by Valero Energy Corporation for a tax refund from TCEQ that would come at the expense of Texas school districts. The parents gathering at TCEQ on Wednesday are part of the Texas Organizing...

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Voting Begins on Ten State Constitutional Amendments

The Texas Constitution of 1876 is an unwieldy, often anachronistic document that has been amended nearly 500 times. The legislature this year put ten more amendments on the ballot for voters’ consideration in the November 8 general election, for which early voting begins today and runs through November 4.The Hotline has previously reported on the problematic Proposition 6, authorizing increased...

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Does Proposition 6 Mean More Money For Education?

Warning: As the late, great Molly Ivins used to announce now and then in The Texas Observer, this is one of those "castor oil" stories--too laden with technicalities to go down easily, but good for you to digest nonetheless, if you have the stomach for it. So just what is the story with Proposition 6, one of the ten constitutional...

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Constitutional Change on the November Ballot: Permanent School Fund

Proposition 6 on the November 8, 2011, ballot is a state constitutional amendment that would make more funding available for public schools in the short run—at the cost of depositing less money in the Permanent School Fund, the state’s endowment for public education, and earning less investment income in the long run. The ballot proposition is based on House Joint...

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