Texas’ youth are at the top of House Speaker Joe Straus’s priority list for the next legislative session.
Straus said Tuesday that he wants to help improve the embattled child welfare system, find a better funding system for public schools and ensure that college-bound youths can make their higher-education journey no matter what their family’s financial situation.
Rounding out the top of his 2017 early to-do list are improving the state’s approach to mental health illnesses, encouraging entrepreneurship in Texas and considering property tax reform.
The challenge will be getting both chambers to agree on how best to address these issues, particularly in a year where dollars may be tight due to slumping oil and gas revenues.
“Members of the Texas House certainly aren’t going to agree on everything,” Straus told a crowd of hundreds gathered for a Dallas Regional Chamber luncheon at the Fairmont Dallas hotel. “Texans don’t agree on everything.”
But there is “plenty of common ground.”