More than 2,200 people attended the first of two sessions at the Texas Capitol last week, hosted by the Texas House Appropriations Committee, that was organized by the Austin Center for Policy Research.
The forum was organized to “educate the public about the state and federal budget and policy priorities of the U.S. Congress,” according to the Center’s website.
“The session featured the most diverse panel of experts to date to examine federal fiscal issues and how those issues impact states and the federal government,” according the Texas Tribune.
“We had speakers from Texas, the United States, the world, and many more,” said Amy J. Miller, the executive director of the Texas Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.
“This session will serve as an opportunity for Texans to ask our lawmakers questions about federal fiscal policy and how the federal budget impacts Texas,” she added.
“With our budget deficits growing, we need to take more action to fund education, healthcare, and other essential services.
Our legislators must work together to make sure our children, our teachers, and our communities have the resources they need to succeed.”
Members of the House Appropriations committee and the Texas Senate Appropriations Committee participated in the session.
The panel consisted of representatives from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of Education, the State of Texas, and the National Governors Association.
The sessions focused on “the state of education, the federal education budget, the importance of education policy, and why the federal Education Finance Authority should be able to raise additional funds for the state,” according a news release from the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee.
Miller said that the sessions were part of a broader effort to “provide a more informed, candid and nonpartisan dialogue” among lawmakers.
“There’s a lot that we can do together,” Miller told The Texas Tribune, “but we have to make the decisions that we need.”
“I think it’s important for lawmakers to be in a position where they can talk about the issues that affect them,” Miller said.
“They have to be able take the time to talk about it with people they really trust.”
Miller also pointed out that the Texas Legislative Budget Office released a report in January, showing that the state’s $1.4 trillion budget deficit is expected to rise to $1,973 billion in 2021.
The report also noted that a record $3.9 billion was spent on public education last year.
“You can’t expect to do everything and expect to get everything done on time,” Miller added.
The Texas legislature’s Republican leadership has expressed concern about the budget, arguing that the Legislature has no control over federal spending.
“Texas is already running deficits and we can expect them to continue to grow,” Texas Senate President Joe Pickett, R-El Paso, told the Tribune.
Miller also noted in a news conference that lawmakers have been asking for the budget to be more flexible and flexible.
“That’s why we’re calling for an increase in state revenues,” Miller stated.
“To me, that’s not the answer.
It’s not realistic, because the federal Government is still responsible for nearly 40 percent of our budget.”
The U.K. has a similar budget crisis.
In March, the U,K.
Office for Budget Responsibility, a government watchdog group, said the U.,K.
was running a budget deficit of almost $100 billion.
“As the UK. prepares for a financial crisis, the public needs to know how the UK Government is funding its public services,” said Kate Holligan, the group’s chief executive.
“People should know what the Government is spending money on and why it is spending it.”