AUSTIN, Texas — Today, Jamarr Brown, Co-Executive Director of the Texas Democratic Party released the following statement on Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick outlining proposals the Speaker hopes will address school safety issues:
“In this three-and-a-half page letter outlining the ways the Speaker wants to address school safety, the word ‘firearm’ only appears once – in passing, at the end of the letter. Texas Republicans are moving mountains to be able to avoid the actual issue at hand: guns. Their efforts to bolster mental health would be commendable if it was being done in good faith, but even that’s dubious considering Governor Abbott and his fellow NRA donor recipients actually cut mental health funding by $211 million this year alone.
“The fact of the matter is that guns are the issue. Yes, we need more mental health support and our schools need to be properly upgraded – but those are distractions from the issue at hand: that an 18-year old was able to legally purchase a weapon of war and use it to slaughter a classroom of children and teachers.
“Instead of making meaningful reforms after El Paso and Sutherland Springs, the Governor and his fellow Republicans have increased access to guns in recent years. The truth is that until real gun safety legislation is passed in this state, children and teachers are, tragically, not safe at school – or anywhere else – in Texas.”