Teamwork in action—that’s what we saw when Tyler, Texas-born Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took the field last week in the AFC playoffs—for the second half. An ankle sprain in the first half had the press corps all but dismissing the Mahomes’ chances. But Mahomes, a Texas Tech grad, adapted his playbook for the new conditions. As the Washington Post put it, “Patrick Mahomes’s incandescence, (tight end) Travis Kelce’s reliability and (coach Andy) Reid’s guidance have planted the Chiefs atop the NFL.”
Texas families are looking to the Legislature for that kind of teamwork on a host of issues. Texans are hard-pressed on all sides—or as William B. Travis put it in his famous letter from the Alamo, “besieged, by a thousand or more…”
Will our leaders step up? Now’s their chance.
For example, as the parent empowerment movement continues to gain momentum across the nation, Texas—often a leader in advancing liberty—has lagged behind. Arizona and Florida are forging the way, with the Sunshine State now considering universal expansion of its education savings accounts (ESA) program.
Here in Texas, support is growing—and our own dream team of legislative leaders is signaling that it’s time for parental choice. Gov. Greg Abbott said as much in his inaugural address last week.
“Texas is now the knowledge capital of America,” Gov. Abbott said, noting that funding for public education is at an all-time high. “But we must remember this, our schools are for education, not indoctrination. Schools should not push social agendas. They must focus on fundamentals.”
Parent empowerment will be key in reforming education in Texas, the governor acknowledged.
“We must reform curriculum to get kids back to the basics of learning and empower parents with the tools to challenge that curriculum when it falls short of expectations,” he said. “No one knows what is better for a child’s education than their parents. Those parents deserve the freedom to choose the education that’s best for their child.”
Likewise, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says it’s time to empower Texas parents. In his own speech, the lieutenant governor said, “the Governor and I are all in on school choice.”
“…And I hope finally this is the session that we join over 30 other states in giving parental rights to parents to choose the school of their choice,” he said.
The pair are also united on tax relief for struggling Texas property owners.
“We now have the largest budget surplus in the history of our state,” Gov. Abbott said. “But make no mistake, that money does not belong to the government. It belongs to the taxpayers. We will use that budget surplus to provide the largest property tax cut in the Texas history.”
Added Lt. Gov. Patrick, “the Governor, and the speaker, and the members will come together and we’ll find a way that’s long-term property tax relief with billions of dollars from this surplus, because you come first, it’s your money.”
Legislative leaders are also together on strengthening the state’s electrical grid with reliable power sources.
“We all know that increased demand will be placed on the grid as Texas continues to grow” the governor said. “So, we will build a grid that powers our state for more than just the next four years, but for the next 40 years.”
As the lieutenant governor explained, “renewables are fine. You know, we’re fifth in the world. There’s the United States, China, India, Germany, and Texas. But we need more thermal power, natural gas, hydroelectric. We need dispatchable energy we can count on.”
When Patrick Mahomes retook the field with his sprained ankle last Sunday, “relying on guts and guile,” as the Associated Press put it, teamwork ensured the Chiefs would make it to the AFC championship (and perhaps another Super Bowl).
The clock has started for the Texas Legislature. It will take teamwork—and plenty of guts and guile—to make the 88th Legislature one of the most conservative in the state’s history. Texas voters have fielded a dream team of liberty-minded leaders. Where will they be when the ball is snapped?