SAVING PUBLIC EDUCATION
Texans have long been concerned about the education of their children. The Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 listed the failure of the Mexican government “to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources…” among the reasons for severing political ties with Mexico.
Today, Texas ranks 42nd overall in education*.
For decades now the legislature has treated our children’s education as an afterthought. How will they be able to compete in future markets where 3-5 MILLION Texas jobs are lost to automation in the next ten to fifteen years? We must reform our education system to prepare Texas for the future.
The cure for cancer may be locked in the mind of a child in rural Texas. We don’t need to remove funds from our public schools with voucher programs, we need to fix them! The top rated school systems in the world have the lowest rates of privatization. That should tell us something. Steven will make funding for education innovation and teacher pay and protection a top priority in Texas.
Lack of support for our veterans’ well-being has contributed to a staggering epidemic of suicide that claims the lives of 22 veterans a day.
As a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Steven Kling understands the challenges that our returning veterans face on a day-to-day basis. Those who serve our country should not have to wait months or years to obtain the treatment and services they need. As a Texas state senator, one of Steven’s first priorities will be to introduce legislation that will supplement VA services for Texas veterans.
All too often veterans seeking relief from service-related physical and mental trauma are over-medicated with prescription drugs that have significant negative side effects. Natural alternatives, such as medical marijuana, are currently prohibited despite having dramatically lower incidence of side effects.
Steven also believes that when Texas repeals cannabis prohibition, veterans should be first in line for cultivation and distribution licenses. This will not only give our veterans earning power, but will help our state economy.
DEFENDING LOCAL CONTROL
Those closest to a situation, know the most about it. Why then is the current administration (one that boasts a love for small government) trying to remove local control in favor of corporate interests? Steven strongly believes that people and the health of our communities should always come before profits.
Our friends and neighbors who live with the consequences of development should have the loudest and strongest voice. Our developers and homebuilders play an important role in our local economies. However, those who actually live in affected areas should not have to fight each time to have a voice in how their community is developed.
Led by an extreme faction of a party that has always claimed to be for small government and deregulation, these laws pandered directly to their ideological and political bases and ignored the will and wisdom of law enforcement officers and other local leaders throughout the state.
The most recent session saw a host of legislation aimed at discriminating against the LGBTQ and immigrant communities of Texas. The “bathroom bill” (SB 6(R)) and “show me your papers” law (SB 4(R)) are just a few of several hateful, wasteful measures that persecute fellow Texans and threaten jobs and business investment.
As Texans living and working together in this great state, we have to ensure that all within our borders are safe and afforded the chance to create a home here for themselves and their families.
RESTORING ACCESS TO WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE
Radical fundamentalists’ attempts to limit access to family planning and safe abortion services have had dire, but predictable consequences. Texas now has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. While the current legislature is taking some measures to study its causes, the fact that we are here at all is disgraceful.
More than 35,000 girls aged 15-19 gave birth in Texas last year. We have the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation and the highest repeat teen pregnancy rate. We need a fundamental shift to an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention in our schools and communities. We have a responsibility to ensure that our daughters can make educated decisions regarding their reproductive health, can access care up to and including safe abortion services, and are supported throughout the postnatal period with continued care and counseling.
We must stop the constant attacks on women and their means to manage their own health in order to provide the best opportunities for all the women of Texas.
ENSURING HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
Our legislature has focused on one single divisive medical procedure while ignoring the healthcare needs of our families and most egregiously, Texas women. Steven believes that healthy mothers make healthy babies and healthy families. Texas has embarrassingly high rates of uninsured people: We recently ranked 2nd in uninsured children and now have the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. With all the resource we have, that is a disgrace.
When folks must chose between their lives or wiping out their savings and life-long debt, we are failing each other. Steven emphatically supports universal health care and is determined to fight for a solution to alleviate and prevent medical bankruptcy.