Texas’ extreme right-wing college students organization, which has earned national repulsion by hosting racist bake sales at UT-Austin, released its legislative priorities. With a new wave of Republicans coming into the legislature, and the continuation of Perry’s legacy through his anointed successor Greg Abbott, some these hopes are perilously close to realistic.
Let’s look at some of the lowlights.
HIGHER ED: “Legislation allowing students with a CHL permit to carry on campus.” This thrice-defeated ideological hope, opposed by law-enforcement officials, might even gain conservative opposition if it, you know, actually became law.
K-12 ED: “Eliminating the Texas Education Agency and giving their responsibilities to the State Board of Education.” So basically, give the right-wing extremists on the nationally reviled SBOE complete control over school administration and – crucially – self-analysis.
SOCIETY: “Allowing fireworks sales on Texas Independence Day.” Crucial priority.
FISCAL: “A constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds approval of both chambers for any tax or fee increase.” Exceedingly difficult.
HEALTH CARE: “Comprehensive entitlement reform to decrease individual dependence on government.” This doesn’t mean reform, it means severely cutting. Why shouldn’t the government provide basic health care to the destitute? Where else will poor people get health care? Eh, not having health care is a moral failure, according to the upstanding youth behind this report.
GOVERNMENT: “Changing the name of the Texas Ethics Commission to the Texas Compliance Commission and givingsole-appointment authority to the Governor of Texas.” Get that damn gubmint out of the ethics game and let the gubna completely control the state’s campaign supervision division!
OTHER: “All efforts to nullify any unconstitutional federal law.” Basically, YCT wants the legislature to unconstitutionally decide not to enforce federal law.
HIGHER ED: “State or student tuition/fee funding for ethnic and gender studies programs and centers.” Apparently, these young nativists go to bed itchy over the state properly educating students about the world, lest they become sympathetic and decent.
K-12 ED: “Any increase in funding for education.” Texas spends among the lowest per pupil in the country, and school districts are constantly suing the state for unconstitutionally underfunding classrooms. This week, we learned that the number of low-performing Texas schools has increased by a third, according to the Texas Education Agency itself.
SOCIETY: “Laws requiring adults to wear seatbelts while in an automobile.” Hope all the flying bodies, broken glass and spinning cars don’t hurt anybody!
FISCAL: “The creation of new taxes or fees.” The state is desperately underfunded, and that’s just fine to YCT.
HEALTH CARE: “Medicaid Expansion or any attempt to further socialize the delivery of healthcare and medicine.” The states that have accepted the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion dollars have seen a significant increase – millions – of newly insured. The others, like Texas, have seen none. Of course, it shouldn’t be up to Texas in the first place but the right-wing Supreme Court cut that part from the law.
GOVERNMENT: “Allowing for Election Day voter registration or decreasing the 30-day window before Election Day.” Hmm. Now why do you think they’d want fewer Texans voting? Because that’s all this is about.
OTHER: “Any effort to expand regulated gambling in Texas.” Why shouldn’t people be able to spend their money as they see fit while the state profits from resultant taxes? Don’t ask a young conservative.
Hopefully, these pipe dreams stay underground.