We are forging the future of Texas, and we are forging it together. Its shape and its substance are up to us. Will it be a Texas that encourages entrepreneurship? Will it be a Texas that attracts new businesses and startups through low taxes and more reasonable regulations? Will it be a Texas that places a high value on the education of every child?
That’s why we at the Texas Public Policy Foundation have assembled this guide for legislators and capitol staff. Our policy prescriptions are backed with research and sound principles. The Texas we envision is a Texas in which families are free to pursue their own hopes, where the benefits of free enterprise let Texans prosper, and where educational resources are used to help students—not prop up a system.
It’s a Texas that remains a top choice for in-migration, for residents of states like California and New York, who are fed up with the policies that drive up the cost of living while lowering the quality of life. It’s a Texas that remains a bulwark for freedom, even as other states flirt with ever-more oppressive rules and taxes— Texas as the America of America.
The Texas we are forging together is also a Texas that protects property rights, whether from excessive property taxes that make so many of us mere “renters” in our own homes, or from local government overreach that affect, how we live and how we can earn a living from our land.
It’s a Texas that knows health coverage isn’t healthcare, where lawmakers work to help strengthen the real determining factor in health—the doctor/patient relationship. While other states double down on the disastrous Affordable Care Act, the Texas we envision will help to remove middlemen and barriers to care that the ACA put in place and empowered.
And it’s a Texas that sees every human being as a person worthy of a second chance. In recent years, we have gone from being merely tough on crime to being “Right on Crime,” with a declining prison population and more successful reentry into society for former inmates. But there is much work yet to do.
The policy prescriptions contained in this handbook provide something of a roadmap. With these reforms, we can ensure that the future for Texas families is as big and bright as the stars at night.