STRENGTHENING OUR KIDS’ SCHOOLS
Cindy believes that high quality public education is imperative to the success of the next generation. All three of her children attended our public schools and she is committed to ensuring our kids have the best resources and teachers in the classroom. After the fallout from the devastating recession, Cindy kept her word and restored $3.4 billion in education funds – money that benefitted every child in our community.
In 2015, Cindy helped add another $1.5 billion to our schools. With this victory for education, public and higher education now represent over 48 percent of general revenue spending in Texas. Yet this increase in funding will do little if it is not used wisely in the classroom. That’s why Cindy’s top priority is ensuring every tax dollar dedicated to education goes toward increasing student achievement. Our teachers, parents, and most importantly, our kids, have a tireless advocate in Cindy Burkett.
BALANCING THE BUDGET
Recently, Cindy had to retire the family car after putting over 250,000 miles on the odometer. Cindy practices this same frugality when it comes to the Texas budget. She knows how to stretch a dollar and get the most out of limited resources and careful investments. Cindy brought this family budgeting approach to the Texas House and, since serving as our Representative, has passed a balanced budget every time.
Last session, Cindy was appointed to serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversees the writing of the entire state budget. In her role, Cindy ensured every state agency seeking taxpayer funds justified their needs and demonstrated their effectiveness before they received a dime of our money. We can count on Cindy to keep our government lean, effective, and on budget.
LOWER TAXES FOR WORKING FAMILIES
In Cindy Burkett, we have a representative who seizes every opportunity to return money back to hard-working Texans. In 2015, Cindy helped pass the largest tax cut in America – $4 billion returned to our families and job creators. This included an across-the-board 25% cut of the statewide tax on small businesses, and the elimination of an outdated annual $200 “professional fee” affecting over 600,000 working Texans.
If you own a home, the $1.2 billion property tax break Cindy helped pass will save you an average of $125 a year. She won’t let the government take a penny more than is needed for
good schools, infrastructure, public safety, and resources for our families.
Cindy’s faith in Texas ingenuity and the free market is unshakable. Her philosophy: you can spend your money much better than the government ever could.
SECURING OUR BORDER
The border looks a lot different today than it did several years ago. What was once an unguarded region where human and drug smuggling reigned supreme is now becoming the finest example of border security in America. Thousands of high-tech surveillance units, 250 new troopers, motion sensors, aircraft and tracking devices are some of the latest tools Cindy has helped place on our border.
These new tools are just part of the largest and toughest border security plan in the history of
Texas, yet Cindy won’t stop until our families are safe from the threat of terrorists and lone wolves who would stop at nothing to harm our police and families. Cindy doesn’t believe in
taking chances with Texas lives.
As a small business owner, Cindy learned the hard way that bad government regulations and high taxes prevent growth and crush our local economy.
With small businesses employing over half of private sector workers, Cindy has taken every step to empower our local job creators by getting government out of the way. In fact, since we elected her, Cindy passed over $5 billion in tax relief so our small businesses can hire more employees across the state.
Cindy knows that a good job can change a life, inspire new ideas, strengthen a community, support a family, and provide a future. Creating jobs is about an individual’s well-being and prosperity. Cindy fights for that reality every day down in Austin.
BUILDING BETTER ROADS
As our community’s voice on the House Transportation Committee, Cindy specializes in leading the effort to streamline TxDOT operations and to ensure that the most important roads are built swiftly.
Last session, Cindy succeeded in ending over $1 billion in harmful budget diversions that took our tax dollars away from road construction. And statewide voters overwhelmingly approved (by 83%) a funding solution Cindy co-authored that dedicated $2.5 billion more in existing revenues to build better roads.
And Governor Abbott signed Cindy’s HB 565, which completely stopped a private toll road company from using eminent domain to build a toll road in the Blacklands Corridor. She keeps an eye out for private property and never hesitates to step up when we need her to.
MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
Achieving the best mental health services for Texans in need is a personal mission for Cindy. Close relatives in her family suffer from mental disabilities. And Cindy believes that our state should be the model for effective mental health resources in the nation.
Though people may suffer from unseen infirmities, they should never be defined by them. No matter what unique struggle they face, Cindy wants to ensure they get the crucial assistance they need to lead productive lives.
Some families in our state who have a child with severe emotional disturbances are faced with the difficult reality of having nowhere left to turn. Once the family has exhausted their financial and medical resources in obtaining services for their child, their only option has traditionally been to turn their child over to the state for care. These are severe cases where the child poses a danger to themselves and others, but once parents have relinquished parental rights, they were placed on a child abuse list even though they committed no abuse or neglect.
Cindy worked to make it so parents who had nowhere left to turn wouldn’t be placed on the
DFPS abuse and neglect list and were able to work with the state in a joint-conservatorship capacity to do what is best for the child. As a mother, Cindy knows how hard it must be to let your child go. No family deserves to be punished for trying to help their loved ones.
TAKING CARE OF OUR FOSTER KIDS
Cindy is dedicated to increasing the quality of the Texas foster care system. Through diligent work during session, she was able to improve the training program for aspiring foster parents – almost doubling the amount of resources available.
Last year Cindy joint-authored landmark legislation, known as Colton’s Law, that helped eliminate barriers and increase communication between CPS and law enforcement at every level, cut bureaucratic red tape, and sped up Texas’ missing child investigations so we can better locate and protect our children from the worst cases of abuse and neglect.
SERVING OUR COMMUNITY
When disaster struck our community on December 26, 2015, neighbors came together to support and comfort the survivors of the tornado that hit Garland, Rowlett and Sunnyvale. 31 different communities pooled their emergency resources, aided in the clean up, and donated food, shelter, blankets, toiletries, and anything that would help.
During crisis, Cindy joined in the clean up. She visited command centers to assess the local needs and arranged for the delivery of big trash receptacles to help haul away the debris.
And Cindy worked closely with the Governor’s office to maximize state aid. Much progress has been made, but the work is not done.
The lives of hundreds of people were permanently altered by the tornado and the recovery is still ongoing. To lend a hand, send supplies, or find a donation or resource center, visit any of the following sites:
Additionally, the Garland Area Habitat for Humanity is hosting a Color Fun Run at the
Bridges Course Firewheel Gold Park on Sept. 24, 2016 to honor the tornado first responders.
Sign up to participate at: www.garlandhabitat.org/
DEFENDING ALL OUR RIGHTS
In the right drawer of her personal desk, Cindy keeps a copy of the U.S. Constitution as a constant reminder that no government can ever supersede the rights granted to the people by our Creator. Cindy fights for that vision each day in the Texas House. She is pro-life, supports free speech, and stands up for every person’s right to defend themselves and their family. She will uphold every word in the Constitution.
When it comes to our rights, Cindy always errs on the side of personal freedom and responsibility.