Midterm elections typically bring to light the public’s viewpoint of how well the current administration is doing. This year, the polls told a frightening story of unease and frustration about the direction in which our country is headed. But what does this mean for Texans, and how will it affect politics come Jan. 11, when the 82nd legislative session begins?
When it comes to politics, you definitely can’t consult a crystal ball to determine the future. If the recent elections taught us anything, it would be that the public has grown tired of politics determined by two governing bodies that have no regard for the wishes of its constituents.
Politicians may now be more likely to vote on issues based on the majority of the public’s view within their own district, which could be a good thing. It could also be a bad thing, as many politicians may waffle at the big ticket items, therefore slowing down the passage of key legislation.
While the Republican party recently gained many seats in Austin and D.C., for the most part, it will be business as usual. However, it’s too soon to conclude how the new class will perform since there’s a huge difference between campaigning and governing: One is often done with platitudes, while the other is accomplished by making hard, and often uncomfortable, choices. It would be safe to assume that with our state legislature’s makeup, we may see a more conservative approach than in past sessions, but don’t expect anything too extreme.
PPACA … and other issues
The state legislature’s action on health care reform will rely heavily on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. The Texas Association of Health Underwriters will continue to be involved in the process, ensuring that every Texan has access to affordable health insurance, and that the producer remains part of the solution.
Gov. Perry has indicated that decisions about how Texas operates need to be kept at the state level, since federal intervention hasn’t always favored the state, and has often brought about unintended consequences.