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Big spender budget gimmicks- www.AgendaWise.com

Knowledge is Power – Here is another great article by the AgendaWise Team.

Evan Smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune, while speaking to a group of environmentalists last month noted a mechanism deployed by liberals in 2011 to come to fruition in 2013: a false mandate to spend down state savings.

Moderates and liberals want us to believe the Rainy Day Fund is gone so they can move the discussion to new revenues.

Since Texans kept legislators from raiding the Rainy Day Fund (RDF) or raising taxes in 2011, they decided to buy time by not funding the last 7 months of Medicaid in the budget. They’re betting we’ll lose our appetite to hold the line if they can create a crisis atmosphere.

What they’ll say is what they said last session: that we have bills from the previous biennium that have come due. They were able to get RDF dollars for that last time using this tactic, though just barely.

The problem is they lied to do it in the 82nd legislature and will be lying again when they do it in the 83rd, because bills aren’t due until they’re due. Part of the current biennium’s spending happens after the next session is finished, which means they have time to find cuts to fund expenses.

The hole in the budget they created just happens to coincide with the exact amount in the RDF. This makes messaging easy when lawmakers come back to spend it to plug the hole so they can move to a push for new revenues like an income tax and, ultimately, expanded gambling (though they tell us the opposite – gambling makes budget problems worse).

After last session Paul Burka admitted the budget was crafted to break the will of fiscally conservative Texans. The plans to attack our will next time are already in play. Voters should ask candidates during the primary season if they plan to play along and use our RDF or if they will demand to fund the gaps with cuts elsewhere, stop using gimmicks and take advantage of the public’s trust that budgeting is on the up and up.

Related posts:

  1. Ogden, Pitts betting Perry will go back on budget veto promise
  2. Bill Hammond’s Liberal Budget Ideas
  3. Teachers used as lead-blockers for budget
  4. Jim Pitts Objective: Create Legislative Angst
  5. What just happened? RDF dizziness


Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is Executive Director of AgendaWise. Previously, Daniel worked for Empower Texans, a non-profit direct advocacy group focused on fiscal policy in Texas. He holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. A native Texan, Daniel is a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and lives in Austin with his wife Karen and their son Griffin. You can reach him at dgreer@agendawise.com.
____________________________________________________________________ “We Lose Texas We Lose the USA” – Doc Holladay



Sec. 302.032.  LEGISLATIVE BRIBERY:  PROMISES OR THREATS.  A person commits an offense if, with the intent to influence a member of or candidate for the house of representatives in casting a vote for speaker of the house of representatives, the person:(1)  promises or agrees to cause:(A)  the appointment of a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;(B)  the appointment of a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;(C)  preferential treatment on any legislation or appropriation;(D)  the employment of a person;  or(E)  economic benefit to a person;  or(2)  threatens to cause:(A)  the failure to appoint a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;(B)  the failure to appoint a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;(C)  unfavorable treatment on any legislation or appropriation;(D)  the refusal of or removal from employment of a person;  or(E)  the withholding of economic benefit from a person.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


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