Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

State Senator, District 10

The Texas Senate is the upper house of the Texas Legislature and is comprised of Senators elected from 31 single-member districts. Senators must participate in committees that conduct research on a variety of issues: administration, agricultural and rural affairs, business and commerce, criminal justice, economic development, education, health, international relations and trade. Texas Senators also draft, debate and vote on legislation. State Senators are elected to four year terms.

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    Beverly Powell
    (Dem)

  • Konni Burton
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

EDUCATION: What changes, if any, should be made to public education and its funding in Texas? What is your rationale for the change(s)?

ECONOMY: What state policies/legislation would you support to help Texas residents improve their economic positions? Why?

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT: How would you balance the development of energy sources with environmental concerns?

HEALTH CARE: What changes in state policy/legislation, if any, are needed to increase availability of affordable health care for Texas residents? If none, please explain.

OTHER ISSUES: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of the Texas Legislature, and what is your position on these issues?

Phone (817) 405-9838
Website beverlypowell.com
Occupation Real Estate
Education Texas Wesleyan, BS and MBA
Experience Burleson ISD Board of Trustees, 2007-2017
The state's share of funding for public education is at a 20 year low. Yet as a state, we continue to add an additional 1,000 residents every day. The math simply doesn't add up. If we do not invest in our schools, we will have overcrowded classrooms, facilities that can not handle the population growth and teachers who are even more overworked and underpaid. This is not a recipe for success. The state of Texas must find ways to strategically increase our state's share of education funding, thus reducing the property tax burden placed on Texas homeowners. We must also strategically use economic development programs to stimulate local economies. A line by line analysis of the state budget is desperately needed as there is not a greater investment we can make than in Texas' children.
I would support continuing tax incentive programs that are proven to create good paying jobs. Right here in Tarrant County, businesses and families see the benefits of strategic economic development and tax incentive programs every single day. In Arlington, our state's event fund has helped attract the Super Bowl and College Football National Championship. In the northern part of Tarrant County, bipartisan economic development legislation has attracted the Facebook data center. The success these programs have helped create good jobs in Tarrant County. We must fight back against attempts to dismantle these programs and instead look at ways to create new investment opportunities, educate our workforce and finds new ways to attract great businesses to Tarrant County.
Energy production is the backbone of the Texas economy. It’s crucial we balance the economic benefits of our state’s thriving energy industry with a responsible environmental approach that ensures clean air and water and safe neighborhoods. The first approach is to encourage the development of clean, renewable energy such as wind and solar. At the same time, we have to recognize the economic benefits of natural gas and oil exploration. Not only do Texas companies benefit from oil and natural gas, but Texas families with mineral rights benefit. In the State Senate I will respect the rich history and tradition of energy exploration while keeping an eye toward the future long-term environmental challenges facing our state.
Healthy Texans are productive Texans. Access to quality and affordable health care will keep our state economy strong and is crucial to our quality of life in North Texas. Texas-focused solutions like expanding Medicaid to improve health care options for all Texas families while encouraging job growth within the health industry should never be out of reach. I will focus on bringing more resources to the Tarrant County medical community to meet the critical needs of local patients and healthcare providers.

Recent reports of Texas’ rising maternal mortality rate are unacceptable. We must prioritize good care for mothers, for all women, and for the state’s children as it is crucial to the health of the family and of Texas. I will focus my attention on expanding access to quality healthcare for all Texans, including our underserved populations--care focused on prevention, education and treatment.
I think further action on CPS reform will at the top of the agenda next session after the recent federal court ruling stating that lawmakers and DFPS have not done enough to address the long-standing issues at CPS. As more reports show that kids under CPS care are being abused and even dying, it is incumbent that we make drastic reforms to save the lives of Texas’ most vulnerable children. I believe that the state must further invest in additional CPS caseworkers to relieve the already overworked caseworkers. Hiring additional workers in addition to making salaries more competitive will go a long way toward solving many of the long-standing issues at CPS.
Phone (817) 754-0110
Website www.konniburton.com
Occupation State Senator
Education University of North Texas, BBA in Marketing
Experience Texas State Senator for District 10, small business owner, activist, wife, and mom.
Improving public education is not simply a matter of more funding. Systemic changes are needed to address disparate outcomes, as well as ever-increasing cost to local taxpayers. Changes to public school finance should go hand-in-hand with property tax relief & reform. The state should move away from local property taxes as a source of education funding & have a centralized funding model. This is the only way to ensure equitable distribution of public education funds. I supported the creation of the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. I look forward to evaluating the ideas they propose & am hopeful that they will bring quality policy positions to consider. School choice, both within an ISD & externally, should be a central tenet of public education reform. As participants in the free market, we demand choice in virtually every aspect of our lives, including higher education; I see no reason we can’t demand the same choice in publicly funded primary & secondary education.
I am a strong supporter of fewer regulations, lower taxes, a stable & predictable business climate, & education reform. All of these policies contribute to positive social mobility. I supported over $1.2 billion in property tax relief as well as $2.5 billion in franchise tax cuts during the 84th Session. I have no doubt this has contributed to positive economic impact. The best policy platform of government to “help” citizens improve their fortunes is to get out of their way & let the free market work.
The free market has led the way in clean & innovative solutions to our energy needs. This is evidenced by the rapid adoption of natural gas as a clean energy source. I am opposed to subsidies of any kind that favor certain energy sources over others & distort markets. These policies only hinder technological advancements & further development of inexpensive energy for businesses & consumers. I am opposed to any efforts to curtail the use of fossil fuels, given that they provide the greatest source of energy for the lowest cost with current technology. Any effort to move to renewable sources of energy should take place in the free market absent any influence from government. Renewable energy will become viable only when markets favor it. That’s how markets work, & that’s how it should be.

The rising cost of healthcare is attributable to third party payments & government involvement in this large part of the private sector. The only way to expand access, increase quality, & control costs in healthcare is to bring meaningful market reforms to safety net healthcare programs. I see no reason not to implement changes to state healthcare programs to allow for cash-based direct patient care, fewer barriers between providers & patients, & changes that ensure beneficiaries have “skin in the game” such as co-pays & work requirements. I am opposed to any effort to expand our state’s broken medicaid system. The costs are spiraling out-of-control for a system that delivers inferior care.
Property tax reform & relief is one of my top priorities, given that it is the issue I hear about most from my constituents. I am concerned that local governments are able to obfuscate their role in actually raising taxes, choosing instead to blame the state legislature, or rising appraisals. Elected local governing bodies are the only authority that can raise your local property taxes. I hope that the legislature gives a fair hearing to my highest criminal justice reform priority: Civil Asset Forfeiture reform. This process allows government to take & keep property they believe is involved in criminal activity, & place the burden of proof on individuals to prove that it’s not. This is antithetical to our criminal justice system’s requirement for “due process.” Local governments shouldn’t be allowed to spend public money lobbying the legislature. At the very least, they should report public monies that are spent for this purpose. In short, government should not lobby itself.