Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Karen Felthauser's Press Release Filing For District 52


Karen Felthauser for State Representative Dist. 52 Phone: 512-218-4943
1102 St Williams Ave. Email:
Round Rock, TX 78681



Williamson County Democrat Files Campaign Treasurer Appointment for District 52 Run

Karen Felthauser filed a campaign treasurer appointment on Thursday May 12, with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for State Representative for the 52nd District. Karen ran as a write-in candidate during the 2004 election cycle but has decided to start early for 2006, running this time as a Democratic candidate. In September of 2004 she filed with the Secretary of State’s office with 615 validated signatures from Williamson County’s District 52 residents. Karen and the 27 other people who helped circulate the petition, spoke with and registered many county residents. Karen is counting on the help of these past supporters for her second run for the Texas House.

Karen is a certified teacher, who substitutes in Round Rock ISD. She is the mother of 5 and the wife of Jim, a software engineer. Karen is a member of Education Round Rock, the Texas Federation of Teachers, the Texas State Teachers Association and two PTA’s. Karen has a B.S. in Geology and a B.S. in Environmental Psychology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. After graduating Karen worked for Ford, Bacon and Davis, an engineering firm.

“I choose to run again because I think we must address the very real needs of Williamson County’s District 52 residents. These needs include education, healthcare and transportation development. I am concerned that once again the 79th Texas legislative session in 2005 has not properly prioritized the issues facing Texas. The following is Karen’s position on the priority issues:

Education is a Smart Investment in our Future

We need to provide additional training and better support for struggling teachers and schools. Texas is 34th in the nation for per pupil expenditures. We have seen increasing class sizes, fewer electives, sports programs being forced outside the school day, coaches being asked to teach more academic classes and we are having elementary teachers teach two grade levels at the same time! The level of state funding for public education is down to 38%, the lowest level since WWII. The state is under court order to find more money for education and yet the 2005 legislative session has failed to address the underfunding of education in Texas. Even the best proposals do little more than restore the monies taken from education during the 2003 session.

We need to invest in higher education as well to ensure a prosperous future for our children and our state. During the 2003 legislative session $259 million was cut from higher education funding. This was done despite the fact that Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn asserts, "Every dollar invested in our state's higher education system pumps more than five dollars into our Texas economy." In the 2003 legislative session college tuitions were deregulated. Consequently during 2004 college costs skyrocketed. Tuition at Texas Tech went up by 65% in just one year.(1) These high rates are making it harder and harder for working families to afford a college education for their children. Despite this fact, the 2005 legislature is once again underfunding the Texas Grants program, which would help working families pay a portion of the expense of sending their kids to college. All families who are eligible for Texas Grants will not get them under current proposals in the legislature.

Healthcare is a Priority

We need to insure the health of our citizens, especially that of our children so they are prepared to learn. During the 2003 legislative session drastic cuts were made to Medicaid and $200 million were cut from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Since the federal government matches each dollar invested by the state with $2.59, this was an effective cut of 718 million dollars from CHIP. (2) Besides being forced to remove thousands of previously covered children, deep cuts to other services including dental and vision coverage, hospice care and mental health care among others were made. During the 2005 session serious consideration is being made for the restoration of dental, vision and hospice funding but other restorations have been languishing in committees and further cuts for legal immigrant children have been proposed in the House!(3)

Transportation Funding Must be Fair and Fiscally Responsible

We need to pay for our transportation infrastructure with a broad based tax, not one placing a heavy burden on commuters. While I firmly believe in the necessity of transportation development, I feel the decision to fund this development with tolls is ill conceived. Road Construction is an area best addressed by good government, not by for profit, often foreign companies. When constructing toll roads 40 to 50% of the costs are wasted in the infrastructure used to collect the tolls.(4) This money could be better spent.

Failure to Invest in Our Future is Irresponsible, not a Bragging Right

Many of our current representatives often stand in front of us boasting of having not raised our taxes. But what they have really done is push expenses for the necessary services down to the local level forcing regressive, backdoor taxes. This is causing high property taxes, skyrocketing college tuition and outrageous toll road schemes. Some attempts have been made to deal with high property taxes during this legislative session; however proposals made to date would create an even more regressive tax structure than the one we currently have!

I believe Texas can do better than this. Money spent on education, health care and an improved transportation system for our citizens is an investment in our future.

Texas needs to invest in Texans!

1) & /ProcessforDesignatedTuitionIncreaseSpring2004.pdf
2) Texas Blamed for Decline in Children’s Insurance, Austin American-Statesman Editorial, Sunday August 01, 2004.


At 8/06/2006 12:37 PM, Blogger Joseph Kenelly said...

Thanks, I enjoyed the post. Keep the postings go on.

It does show the increasing awareness in BLOGS. I hope I can learn more posts in comming days.
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