Texas IAF Rally Takes On "Vampire" Chapter 313 Legislation


More than 50 Central Texas Interfaith leaders joined nearly 200 clergy and leaders from across the Texas IAF network to participate in a statewide Legislative Advocacy Day on March 21. They addressed several issues important to them, but focused on one, opposing the reauthorization of the Chapter 313 “Vampire Fund” and what they termed any “school-based corporate tax giveaway program.”

Edie Clark of the Unitarian Universalist Wildflower Church in Austin, a Central Texas Interfaith leader, told Austin Journal they strongly disagree with the idea of reviving 313. “We want economic development but we draw the line when it comes at the expense of schoolchildren and education,” Clark said. “We know real economic development is the result of strong schools and an educated and healthy workforce. Companies primarily choose a location because of skilled workers, and educational investments create better long-term health of the economy.”

“We urge community members to call or e-mail their state representatives and state senator and ask them to vote against HB5, SB1926 and any legislation that takes money from schoolchildren to line the pockets of wealthy corporations,” she said. “We are a coalition of institutions, including congregations, schools, nonprofits and unions. We encourage institutions across the state to join us by contacting their local Texas IAF organization.”

“We know real economic development is the result of strong schools and an educated and healthy workforce,” said Jose Guerrero, Central Texas Interfaith leader with St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Austin. “Companies choose a location because of skilled workers: first, second and third. Everything else is icing on the cake. Texas legislators should be focusing on the long-term health of the economy and educational investments, not short-term bragging rights, like putting notches on a belt."

Chapter 313 "Vampire Fund" Opponents Rally in Austin, Austin Journal [pdf]

Taylor: Like a Zombie, Texas Corporate Welfare Threatens to Rise from Its Grave to Plague TaxpayersSan Antonio Express-News [pdf]

Texas' Zombie Tax Break Is Baaa-aaack. But Is Chapter 313 Any Better? Houston Chronicle [pdf]

Valley Interfaith: Don't Suck Money Out of Public Education to Help Large CorporationsRio Grande Guardian [audio]

Press Conference FootageTexas IAF [video]

Death of a VampireTexas IAF [video]