“When it comes to funding priorities for Texas children, legislators appear to be facing similar tough choices as they work to finalize the state budget. The Senate and House have proposed 2014-15 budgets that, at first glance, seem to highlight different priorities for Texas kids. For example, the House proposes more state money, about $1 billion more, for public education. And the Senate wants approximately $840 million more state dollars for Medicaid, the primary source of children’s public health insurance in Texas.
Traditionally, the House and Senate budget conference committee would start from this point, focusing on how much each side wins or loses, resulting in each chamber having only some, but not all, of their priorities funded — impossible choices about equally important priorities.
Fortunately, that does not have to be the starting point. Successful negotiation begins not by focusing on differences but rather on finding commonalities in the goals of each side.”
Read the full oped in the Austin American-Statesman.