Glenn Hegar Said He Was “Proud” Legislature Didn't Reinstate Funds Cut To Public Education

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Democrat for Comptroller Mike Collier released an ad of his opponent saying that he was “proud” the legislature didn’t increase funds for public education.

Some people were saying, oh, we’ve put more money in education. No, we didn’t. There’s no way you could spend that. No, we didn’t. But I was not ashamed to say we didn’t. I was proud that we did not.” – Glenn Hegar

Mike Collier said in an emailed statement, “It’s embarrassing and unacceptable that Glenn Hegar takes pride in cutting education despite our extraordinary prosperity…We can do so much more for public education without raising taxes by being honest and accurate with the numbers.”

That last line is exactly why it makes sense to have a Certified Public Accountant as the state’s Comptroller. The incumbent Susan Combs’ revenue estimates have been off by billions of dollars and that greatly affects the decisions of a legislature too afraid to see public education as an investment rather than an expenditure.

When confronted with the ad Hegar’s spokesperson said it was a distortion and that, “Senator Hegar believes in adequately funding our education system,”

But was it, and does he? I watched the entire 45 minute interview in question where he delivered that quote to the Montgomery County Tea Party and there wasn’t much that changed the context of his statement.

If the clip in the ad kept rolling the next you would have heard him say was,

    “I had a lot of superintendents come to me and say ‘you know what, thanks because I’ve been needing to cut something over here and I’ve never been able to and you gave me an excuse.”

But along with those cuts were neighborhood schools, 10,000 teachers, and bus rides for some students forcing about 1/3 of all districts to dip into their emergency funds to offset state cuts.

It’s not the first time Hegar made a brow-raising comment on the budget. Earlier this year again speaking on camera Hegar says he would replace the property tax with a sales tax.

That’s when Collier began the attack on Hegar for what would be a tripling of the state’s sales tax.

In the same video with Montgomery County Tea Party Hegar backs that assertion. He says he has been pushing for the change since he served in the House but blamed Democrats for “not wanting to hear anything about it.”

He said [at 30:00]if he were able to whip the votes the question would be whether to “broaden the base or increase the rate.” He then pondered, “but then does that go up 3%, 18%, up to 18.5% [as]some numbers have been out, but the question is how wide and how broad is that.” Hegar believes that defining that rate and what else should be taxed is where the legislature “seems to get caught up.”

Polls show across the board Texans want more funding for public education, not less. Maybe eventually it will be Hegar’s comments that catch up to him.

Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

Mike Collier’s new ad “Proud”:

INterview with Montgomery County Tea Party:

About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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