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Rep. Burrows talks dueling budgets, plans for Texas Tech Veterinary School

Updated: Jan. 19, 2017 at 9:50 PM CST
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LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - The Texas State House and Senate have released their proposed budgets for 2018 and 2019, and they are billions of dollars apart.

The Senate is proposing a roughly $213.4 billion budget while the House is proposing about $221.3 billion.

District 83 Representative Dustin Burrows said the next step is meeting with agencies and taking a close look at their programs.

"We are going to go through their programs and find out if they are really necessary, if they are needs or wants. We are going to work our way back down to make sure we find something everyone can agree on," Representative Burrows said.

Some of Representative Burrows' top priorities are CPS reform, financial support for rural schools, I-27 expansion and making healthcare more affordable.

We asked him if he thinks those goals are still feasible under this proposed budget.

"Absolutely, in fact the House has set aside some money that I think would be a great opportunity to help rural schools," he said.

"One of the really great line items in the budget right now is the House leadership heard that we need some more veterinarians in this area, and so I am very proud we have a line item in there for a Texas Tech vet school," Representative Burrows said.

Right now, the only veterinary school in the state of Texas is at A&M.

"We do not have enough large animal veterinarians. The industry is crying out for it. Texas Tech has a phenomenal idea on what they can actually accomplish. It would be more affordable, provide better services," Representative Burrows said.

When it comes to CPS reform, Representative Burrows said the changes need to start with lowering the case loads.

"The number one thing we have got to do is make sure we have more case workers. Number two, is we have got to pay them more. The House budget actually provide for those things," Representative Burrows said.

Representative Burrows is also filing bills to make changes when it comes to healthcare.

"The absolute biggest issue that I see overtime is we have stopped being concerned with what the overall cost of healthcare procedures are and in some ways you are price insensitive. In emergency situations you are not going to care what the price is, but in non-emergency situations, if we can get people back engaged as consumers where they actually know what the costs of things are and then we incentivize them to go shop around, over time we will start bringing down healthcare costs," Representative Burrows said.

"It will be a conservative budget, it will be a budget that is going to grow Texas without raising taxes and it is going to have a lot of good things in there for West Texas and our districts, our schools, our roads and other things that are critical concerns," Representative Burrows said.

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