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This year, AFP-TX will focus on policy reforms that unleash opportunity by removing barriers to economic mobility and growth, whether that be through reforms to spending and budgeting, taxes, red tape, or local government transparency. With the priority of making it easier for Texans to provide for their families, our activists will advocate for principled reforms that help businesses recover, create jobs, and reinforce that everything is bigger in Texas, especially economic opportunity.
Unsustainable government spending hurts economic opportunity for all Texans and fuels special interest politics at the expense of the taxpayers. Lawmakers need to rein in wasteful spending and prioritize existing revenue rather than expecting hardworking families to pick up an ever-increasing bill. AFP-TX will advocate for a maximum of a 5% increase over the 2020-2021 budget, with the expectation that growth of government should not outpace the ability of taxpayers to pay for it.
Your hard-earned tax dollars should be used for the most needed services, especially in tough economic times. Unfortunately, many local governments across Texas are not held to those standards and oftentimes, hire third-party lobbyists to push for priorities that run counter to the best interests of Texans. In recent years, these taxpayer funded lobbyists have pushed for higher taxes and bigger government, paid for out of your hard-earned paycheck. It’s time to end this dishonest practice that wastes your tax dollars. AFP-TX will urge the legislature to end taxpayer funded lobbyists this legislative session.
Following AFP-TX’s successful advocacy of historic property tax reform during the 2019 legislative session, we are dedicated to ensuring the impact of this legislation is felt by all hardworking families. Many local governments used loopholes and exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to ignore these key reforms and increased tax collections on property taxes, rather than reducing them to match the new, lower standards set. We will fight to clarify and close any potential loopholes so Texas families feel the full impact of these positive property tax reforms.
In response to COVID-19’s economic challenges, Texas’s leaders made a number of principled, temporary steps to rolling back red tape and promoting economic growth. This session, the legislature has the opportunity to permanently implement many of these important changes like fast-tracking and universally recognizing out-of-state occupational licenses.
Facing the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, many Texas businesses are struggling. Any unnecessary barrier to businesses getting back on their feet and creating jobs must be eliminated. For over a decade, the franchise tax has been holding businesses across the Lone Star State back. Today’s challenging environment is the perfect time for the legislature to take a hard look at the franchise tax and push for a full elimination—either one immediate cut or a gradual phase out over time.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has brought any one policy issue to the forefront of Texans’ minds, it’s health care. Every Texan should have access to quality health care that works for their budget and fits their families’ needs. In this unprecedented public health crisis, innovations like telehealth services are flourishing because they provide both a safe and cost-effective option for patients. During the upcoming legislative session, AFP-TX will push to expand telehealth options by removing barriers to these services. We will also oppose any “pricing parity” requirements that would arbitrarily charge patients the same price for a telehealth visit as an in-person visit, considering telehealth visits are generally more affordable for patients.
Another pivotal step the legislature should take to decrease the cost of health care and increase access for all Texans is empowering medical professionals, such as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Transitional Registered Nurses (TRNs), and Physician Assistants (PAs) to deliver medical care to the fullest extent of their training and education. By eliminating requirements for these highly trained, highly skilled medical professionals to work under arbitrary physician delegation agreement contracts, more Texans will have greater access to quality health care at a more affordable price. These physician delegation agreements are holding our medical workers back when Texans need them most.
Texas has long led the way in reforming our criminal justice system toward a smart on crime, soft on taxpayers approach. This session, the legislature has another opportunity to lead the way by reforming our pre-trial system. Our activists will advocate for a system that prioritizes the safety of our communities and the risk assessment of incarcerated individuals, while allowing low-level, low-risk offenders to return to their families and communities while they await court proceedings. By focusing on a suspect’s risk—rather than their ability to pay—Texas can make strides to increase second chances and make our communities safer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need to provide and protect the flexibility and support necessary to address every student’s individual needs in our education system. This legislative session, AFP-TX activists will encourage their lawmakers to protect educational opportunities for our students—through various avenues including charter schools and learning pods. This will ensure families and students have the freedom to explore learning environments that provide the foundation for a successful future. We can enable families to customize their child’s education today and beyond through protecting these opportunities.