As a former Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ellis is recognized for his strong leadership on budget and tax issues.
Historic Investment in Texans
As Finance Chairman, Senator Ellis shepherded the passage of the 2002-03 budget, which provided historic investment in the people of Texas. The Ellis budget met the basic needs of a growing Texas, while making significant investments in our families.
Overall, the invested in key priorities providing $2.5 billion to establish a teacher health insurance program, $5.1 billion to health and human services to increase access to quality, affordable health care, provided state employees with their first pay raise in a decade, and tripled funding for college scholarships, without raising taxes.
Opposed Draconian Cuts to Schools, Health Care
In 2011, Senator Ellis led the opposition to draconian budget cuts and an irresponsible “cut first, ask questions later” agenda. Ellis fought a budget which slashed over $4 billion in state funding from Texas schools, eliminated another $1 billion in grants for schools, cut $4.8 billion in Medicaid and cuts nursing home reimbursement rates, and slashed $1.5 billion from higher education and eliminated financial aid for over 43,000 students.
A Better Way Forward
As an alternative to slash and burn budget cuts, Senator Ellis offered a Roadmap to a More Responsible Budget, which provided balanced alternatives, and protected Texas schoolchildren and seniors from reckless cuts. He fought to eliminate ineffective, wasteful corporate tax giveaways like the natural gas and early filer loopholes and to use the state’s emergency Rainy Day Fund as it was intended — to save our schools. He called for a complete scrubbing of the Texas tax code and review of the state’s margins tax to ensure a level playing field for Texas consumers and businesses. While these initiatives were ignored — and Texas families and our schoolchildren are paying the price — Senator Ellis will continue to fight for a budget that focuses on those Texans who need a helping hand, not those at the very top.
Smart, Effective Tax Cuts
Senator Ellis has one of the strongest records on cutting taxes in the Texas Senate. In 1999, he authored historic tax relief legislation for Texas families and businesses. His plan created the Sales Tax Holiday to help Texas families prepare for school, eliminated sales taxes on over-the-counter medicines to help families afford ever-rising health care costs, provided franchise tax credits to increase the availability of child care, and created cut franchise taxes to help strengthen small businesses and cover a portion of their research and development costs.