4/3/2011 10:38 PM
As is typical with passage of the appropriations bill, we have received a series of statements from key state leaders (governor and speaker, for example) and interest groups. To avoid a really lengthy blog post, we're not printing all of them, but the key ones are posted below:
Gov. Rick Perry: “Today’s action by the House is another step toward achieving fiscal responsibility and ensuring state government lives within its means. House members set priorities for state spending and found savings, and thanks to their leadership, this budget paves the way to help Texas recover from the impacts of the national economic recession. You cannot tax or spend your way to prosperity, and Texans expect their elected leaders to govern under that truth when it comes to taxpayer dollars. I look forward to working with members of the Senate as we continue to move a budget through the legislative process that lays the foundation for a prosperous future while funding our state’s priorities, and preserving the balance of the Rainy Day Fund without raising taxes on families or employers."
Speaker Joe Straus: "Balancing our state budget requires very difficult choices, and I want to congratulate every Member for their hard work in passing House Bill 1. This is a significant step in the process, and the Texas House looks forward to working with the Senate on the final legislation."
House Democratic Leader Jessica Farrar: "Writing a budget in tough economic times is about setting priorities. In my opinion, the Republicans in control got the priorities all wrong. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work they were elected to do, the Republican majority in the House voted for a 'cuts-only' budget that will cost our state hundreds of thousands of jobs, and devastate public education and nursing home care. Instead of working on real solutions to protect our priorities in the state budget, the Republican majority was more interested in scoring ideological points and partisan politics ... This fiscal mess and our state's ongoing structural deficit are result of corporate tax loopholes and Governor Perry's insistence that the Legislature pass a 'cuts only' budget. That is why House Democrats support a plan protect our state's important priorities through a mix of smart budget cuts, using the state's Rainy Day Fund savings account, and closing massive corporate tax loopholes that prevent some big businesses to pay their fair share to fund our schools ...
Talmadge Heflin,Texas Public Policy Foundation: Last November, Texas voters sent a loud and unambiguous message that they wanted government to live within its means. Tonight, the Texas House delivered a budget bill for the next biennium that does just that. As Chairman Jim Pitts noted, Texas has about $5 billion less in general revenue than it did two years ago and the budget approved tonight reflects that. The House wisely recognized – as they always have – that a ‘current services’ approach to budgeting is a false premise, and that the 18 percent spending increase that would have resulted from this approach would have crippled our state’s future. ... We trust that when the Senate receives the bill, they will review the House’s work, add in their best ideas, and also approve a budget that remains within available revenue.”
F. Scott McCown, Center for Public Policy Priorities: “The House chose a cuts-only approach to our state’s $27 billion revenue crisis when Texans want a balanced approach that protects our priorities, including protecting today’s jobs and preparing our children for tomorrow’s jobs. Because the House budget reduces state spending so deeply, by 2013 Texas will have 335,000 fewer jobs (close to half in the private sector) and $17.2 billion less personal income, according to the Legislative Budget Board. The House budget also makes damaging cuts to public education, higher education, and critical health and human services such as nursing homes."