Texas Legislature Not Adhering to Fiscal Responsibility Advice
Where does the budget process in Texas stand at this time? The Texas House passed a budget with various cuts, and identified a need for using 3.1B of the Rainy Day Fund. This proposal then went to the Senate. The Senate has their own budget proposal. It spends 12B more than the House Proposal. This budget process is going to end up in conference.
When the House and Senate offer two different solutions to the same bill, the legislation then moves to a committee made up of some members of the House and Senate. Their job is to negotiate a solution which satisfies the legislature as a final solution. In this instance, there will be debates about where to cut money and how much.
Mr. Talmadge Heflin, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation identified 3 priorities for the legislature with regard to the budget for the next biennium. Go to this site for more info on the House and Senate budgets: http://www.texaspolicy.com/legislativeupdates_single.php?report_id=3719
There are 3 things that lead to logical solutions on the budget.
- Make the necessary cuts
- Don’t raise taxes
- Don’t use the Rainy Day Fund
The Senate chose to disregard the advice of economists, experts, the Governor and the people of Texas. They have elected to spend more money when they are fully aware of the unfunded mandates the state is facing in 2013. New sources of money were used by the Senate to help pay for some of their programs, but it does not solve the future problem.
Before Texas gets into dire straits, there must be austerity measures taken in the state. In the past year, Americans have witnessed many states teetering on the verge of bankruptcy trying to make quick fixes. Several states have bond ratings now in jeopardy of a downgrade, due to excessive spending. Is this what we want for Texas?
Please call your legislators and state clearly the need for fiscal restraint prior to the emergency! Let’s show the rest of the country how it’s done.
As a final thought of what to say to the legislators: We pay you to be smart and do the very best for the citizens that elected you to office. Show you have the integrity and character to do what is best for Texans.
- Get rid of duplicity across departments
- Freeze all discretionary spending for two years
- Freeze hiring in all departments of the state for two years.