Senate calls for massive funding cuts to state services, no pay raise!
Budget proposal calls for 7.1% in cuts to agencies and higher education
The Senate Finance Committee just passed their budget plan for the next two years, and if it goes into effect as is it will be a disaster for state agencies, higher education, state employees, retirees, and all Texans who rely on state services. According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Senate’s version of the budget reduces state spending from the last two years’ budget by 7.1% when adjusted for population growth and inflation. Texas’ booming population growth has been putting a strain on state services and state workers for years.
This strain will only get worse if these cuts are allowed to take effect. Budget cuts in state agencies mean fewer staff handling higher caseloads and an increasing demand for services from a growing population. In higher education state funding cuts will mean stagnant wages for workers, increased outsourcing of university jobs to for-profit corporations, lower quality education for students, and higher tuition and fees.
Pay/Pension Increase status:
Although the Senate’s budget plan maintains current funding levels for state employee health care and pension benefits, it also leaves out a much-needed pay increase for state workers and pension increases for retirees.
- Data recently made public by the union shows that over 6,200 state workers are currently receiving Food Stamp benefits because they earn so little at their full-time jobs with the state.
- And state retirees, most of whom have not received an increase in their pension since 2001, earn just $1,500-$1,600 per month on average from their retirement checks.
Flat salaries and pensions combined with skyrocketing health care costs and the overall cost-of-living, have left state retirees and workers scrambling to make ends meet and provide for their families.