Texas

Democratic leader considers direct payments to Texans

As lawmakers decide how to spend the record surplus, San Antonio Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher wants to discuss direct inflation relief payments.

AUSTIN, Texas. State Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher has traveled to Austin for the legislature since his first election in 2000.

But this year, according to the San Antonio Democrat, is different from all previous ones.

“This is my 11th term. Every time I come here, there are some fantastic ideas, but no money. So now we have some money to invest in our people,” Martinez Fischer told us on Inside Texas Politics. “And let’s see who has the best vision for helping middle-class Texans get through what we know is a very difficult time.”

“A little money” is an understatement the size of Texas.

Lawmakers will decide how to spend a record $32.7 billion budget surplus. This is more than the entire budget of 29 other states.

While the property tax cut has garnered the lion’s share of attention ahead of the session, Rep. Martinez Fischer says it won’t help all Texans, such as renters.

The Democrat says he’d like to discuss the idea of ​​sending inflation relief payments directly to Texans.

He argues that since Republicans talk so much about freedom and choice, why not let Texans decide how to spend their own money?

“We know times are tough. We’re going to give it to you,” he said. “If you want to buy medicine, you can buy medicine. If you want to cut taxes, you can cut taxes. Do you want to help your son or daughter pay for college? We’ll give you that flexibility.”

And as the new chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, Martinez Fischer will play a key role in the debate and bring new political energy to the post.

He recalls his days as a linebacker at Oliver Wendell Holmes High School in San Antonio and says he still only has two speeds: on and off.

“When you come to Austin, you can do two things: you can come here to be loved, or you can come here to be feared. And honestly, I get all my love at home, right? When I come here, it’s about business,” Martinez Fischer said.

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