About Stephen Stephen's Vision
It's about time we took our state constitutional obligation to provide a solid public education seriously and began treating our educators as the professionals they are. We need to reinstate full funding at pre-2011 levels, restore universal, full-day Pre-K, raise teacher pay at the state level, alleviate the health care cost burden to our teachers and educational staff by increasing the state's share of the cost (still at 2002 levels), shore up TRS and TRS Active Care for our retired educators, cut class sizes, and continue to move away from the excessive standardized testing regime. We need a teacher in the capitol!
Our state could assist greatly in the effort to provide access to affordable, quality health care and that begins with an acceptance of Medicaid Expansion at little cost to our state to make sure no one gets caught in an affordability gap. Health care should be a right and not a privilege.
Equal Pay and Job Protections
Texas needs to move to ensure that the pay gap between men and women is closed and that all Texans can be productive employees without worrying about discrimination in the workplace, regardless of their race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.
Our state's excellent institutes of higher learning are one of many reasons that Texas is the greatest state in our nation. But the cost of a college education is oppressive and unaffordable to many for many. We need to take multiple steps to bring down the cost of tuition and provide an accessible college education to all who apply. We can start by capping tuition costs at our public universities.
Minimum Wage Increase
Texas' minimum wage is currently at the national floor of $7.25 per hour. That's too low for a family to cover basic expenses like housing, food, and clothing, all of which are increasing in price. We need a state minimum wage of $12 per hour so that hard-working Texans can make a decent living.
Our great state has a not-so-great record when it comes to giving workers the right to form unions to bargain for fair contracts, good livable wages, and safe working conditions. All Texans deserve their First Amendment right to associate with unions of their choice in order to have a voice in their workplace.