Dewhurst’s plan to save education
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he has a plan to maintain public education funding and Medicaid reimbursement rates at their present levels over the next biennium. We hope he’s right, but our expectations are always low when it comes to the Legislature.
So when Dewhurst says he’s found a way to maintain public education and Medicaid funding levels, we tend to listen. Dewhurst recently formed a special committee to look into finding “non-tax” revenue that could help stanch the bleeding caused by the budget deficit, which could be as much as $27 billion. He says he’s found the savings. We would love for Dewhurst to be right about all of this. If the House prevails with its budget, the damage to the state would be catastrophic. The instruction of our public school students would be drastically impaired; so would the care of low-income nursing home patients.
The general economy would suffer as well. The state Legislative Budget Board has estimated that as many as 335,000 public and private jobs would be lost over the next two years if the House budget is adopted.
We would like to think Dewhurst has a better plan, or at least a less disastrous one. We anxiously await more details. In the meantime, we will do what we always do when the Legislature is in session. We will hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Toll roads look better as state money dries up
El Pasoans want roads. Roads cost money, both for building and upkeep. But there isn’t much money available for roads. In the midst of money woes, the option of toll roads is getting more attention. Gas taxes, the usual funding method for roads, are drying up.
So toll roads are getting a fresh look, and that’s the right thing to do.
Toll fees have raised millions of dollars in other parts of Texas, and there’s no doubt we could use a new revenue stream.
But that revenue stream would come from the pockets of El Pasoans.
Others maintain that people will just ignore the toll road and just keep using the freeway.
The objections are noted and could well impact the toll road.
But the bottom line is the bottom line. A toll road seems one of the few remaining options for raising money to be used for roads and maintenance.
And people will have a choice.
El Paso Times