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Texas Legislature votes to keep cuts for disabled children

Bob Daemmerich
Texas Tribune

Among the many battles between the Texas House and Senate during the past session, one of the most acrimonious involved the Senate’s wish to slash funding for disabled children in Texas.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been a staunch supporter of cutting funding for speech, physical and occupational therapy services for kids with disabilities, calling the programs wasteful. Speaker of the House Joe Straus was hoping to restore that funding this session.

But, as The Texas Tribune reports, the Senate proved more powerful this session and the cuts will remain in place. Democrats and some in the House Republican leadership were livid at the inability to help disabled students.

Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia lamented, “We couldn’t find that money elsewhere in the budget to fully restore these cuts?”

But Republican State Rep. John Zerwas said he was out of ammunition to fight, adding that he’d received “tremendous . . . pushback from my Senate colleagues on this.”