Monday, March 7, 2011

Stefani Carter Fiddles While Texas Burns

Texas is in financial crisis. The state faces a $27 billion budget shortfall over the next two years. Raising revenue is off the table. Huge spending cuts are on. Schools across the state may lose 100,000 teachers. The Dallas school district (DISD) alone fears having to lay off 4,000 teachers and increase class sizes from 25 to 35 students. Medicaid cutbacks are in the works, along with cuts to the children's health insurance program. You would think the budget crisis would be top priority for our legislators in Austin. You'd think saving jobs for Texans would be their own Job 1. You would be wrong.

After the jump, what first-term Dallas representative Stefani Carter (TX House District 102) is working on instead.

Carter took time out from legislating to send a newsletter to her Dallas constituents summarizing the legislation she is supporting.

  • Prohibiting "sanctuary cities"
  • Requiring photo identification to vote
  • Prohibiting employers from banning employees from carrying firearms in their vehicles
  • Allowing for concealed carry on college campuses
  • Requiring that a sonogram is performed before abortions
  • Amending the constitution to restrict the state's ability to raise taxes

What's *not* on the list? "Solving this year's budget problem." And the last item that is on Carter's to-do list will only make solving future budget problems even more difficult.

This reminds me of family dinners on holidays, when the children are fed in another room while the adults gather around the main table and have adult conversations. First-termer Stefani Carter was sent to the kids' table while the real powers in Austin deal with the budget. Or maybe a better analogy is how the kids behave in school cafeterias. Carter's election win made her the hall monitor and she is using her new power to bully schoolchildren and teachers, immigrants, the poor and the elderly, employers and pregnant women. But I still like the analogy in the headline: Carter fiddles while Texas burns.

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