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Republicans Have Broken Everything In Texas
This week has been a non-stop flood of news of all the things they've broken. It's a good time to remind everyone that we outnumber them, all we have to do is vote.
In case you missed it, last night around 8 p.m., ERCOT called a Level 2 Emergency, stating our reserves were at a critical level. They said we were at imminent risk for rolling blackouts, and our power levels were roughly at the same levels that they were during Winter Storm Uri, when half of the state was without electricity for an entire week.
Thankfully, the emergency was resolved, and our entire state didn’t lose power, but we came very close last night. Today, once again, ERCOT is asking everyone to conserve energy. Over this wretchedly hot summer, the powers that be have continuously asked us to save our power but have failed to give us any discounts on our electric bills to deal with their mishandling of our power grid.
Republicans did this to us. Their stupid need for states’ rights and the avoidance of federal regulation has put us in the position so that their oil buddies can bend us over, screw us, and then go sit on their mountains of cash. The GOP “free market” is a complete failure and hasn’t freed us from worry about whether we’ll have electricity from one day to the next.
On top of that, Texas’ childhood hunger rate is six points higher than the national average, and the State of Texas paid cryptocurrency mining company Riot more than $31 million to cut its energy use in August.
You read that right. Texas doesn’t have the money to fix our grid or weatherize our equipment. They don’t have the money to feed starving children, but they do have the money to give a cryptocurrency company $31 million.
Every Texan facing higher energy bills this summer should be outraged that crypto companies are making twice as much money from ERCOT than their actual product.
Don’t count on renewing your driver’s license before the November election if you need it.
All week, there has been a statewide system outage impacting all driver’s license services, including renewing or replacing a license or identification card, obtaining a driver’s record, and verifying eligibility at offices across the state and online.
As many Texas drivers know by now, you can no longer walk into a DPS office and wait all day to renew your license. Instead, you have to schedule an appointment online. During Covid, appointments were as far as six months out. It’s been reported that the appointments canceled this week will not have timeslots to reschedule until December, after the constitutional election.
Republicans did this to us. In 2018, they closed down almost 90 DPS offices throughout the state, making it harder and forcing Texans to go further to get or renew a driver’s license. They did this to make it harder for impoverished people to have a more difficult time to obtain the ID they needed to vote. It was soon after they switched to the appointment system.
The current outage is being blamed on regular maintenance. During the 88th Legislature, I watched the budgeting hearings (mostly, they were boring). However, the one thing that stuck out the most was how drastically underfunded every single state department is. DPS requested $1 billion for its total budget. The Legislature appropriated $536 million. So, the money they needed for IT staff and projects wasn’t there.
Men in Texas are committing suicide at a rate 35% higher than they were 20 years ago.
This is according to a recent article published by Texas Health and Human Services. Make no mistake about it: Republicans did this to us.
More than 80% of Texas counties are designated as Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas. A recent study revealed that lack of access is the number one root cause of the mental health crisis in America. Of course, we can reduce that rate by 41% if Texas expands Medicaid, but Republicans won’t do it for no other reason than to own the libs and pad their pockets with insurance money.
It’s not about the cost. We know that because Texas has spent $4.5 billion on Operation Lone Star, the only thing that’s come out of it is civil rights abuses.
Related - Lubbock County Commissioners Spar with Sheriff over budget needs and the mental health crisis in Lubbock County.
Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe called out county commissioners for comments made during a budget workshop where they reviewed and slashed some of his budget requests. The sheriff wanted more funding for three mental health deputies who could work together to create a mental health program. Last year, deputies responded to more than 100 calls for suicidal subjects.
I’m sure every elected official in Lubbock County is a Republican. However, we need more programs like this within law enforcement. This was a good idea by the Republican Sheriff. People with untreated mental illnesses are sixteen times more likely to be killed by law enforcement. And in a state where our mental health crisis is out of control, this program in Lubbock County could save lives.
Yet, the Republican commissioners brushed it off and said, “The Sheriff’s Office already has open positions. Why should we give them money for more?” Republicans did this to us.
And while we’re talking about county budgets, another piece of news is raining down on us this week.
Last week, Greg Abbott signed an $18 billion tax cut package for property owners. Our feckless governor even called it “the largest property tax cut in Texas history.”
The only thing this so-called tax cut did was buy down your property tax rate for two years (until the Legislature meets again). Depending on what county you live in, you may never see the benefits of this cut. And if you’re a renter, you definitely won’t see it.
Our property taxes are so high in the first place because the Republicans in our state government have so drastically underfunded our public schools that county governments are left to fund the major shortfalls. So, this so-called tax cut is going to the county governments around Texas to buy down the tax rates, but schools will still be severely underfunded. Which is why:
We could go on all day. While some counties around Texas are not increasing their rates, and a few have even lowered them, those are outliers. Over the coming months, we'll see that the vast majority of Texas counties chose to increase taxes. Republicans did this to us.
Remember all of this when you vote.
We outnumber them. In Texas, Democrats outnumber Republicans, but we don’t vote. The GOP seems to be hellbent on destroying our state one crisis at a time while they enrich themselves with money from CEOs, oil moguls, and real estate investors. We are the only people that can stop them. All it’s going to take to stop them is to take your butt to the polls and ensure everyone you know gets there as well.
We outnumber them. All we have to do is vote.
Note: The impeachment hearings are still happening. I’ll have an update soon.