Last night, a source on Congress Ave sent us this clip from the Houston Chronicle; money quote:
There would be a tighter state limit on spending under a bill given preliminary approval Wednesday by the Texas House.This is huge. This type of spending cap is a major component of the Texas Budget Compact. Perhaps we're seeing movement after all.
Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, added the spending limit as an amendment to House Bill 7, which, along with HB 6, seeks to tamp down on the practice of collecting fees or taxes for certain purposes and instead leaving them unspent to help balance the budget.
King’s amendment would require the board to base the cap on the lower of three things: revenue, growth in personal income or growth in population and inflation.
King afterward acknowledged the potential for confusion but said his amendment would put a new cap on the overall budget.
Gov. Rick Perry has called for a new spending cap to be placed in the state constitution that would limit spending to growth in population and inflation. A constitutional amendment would require approval by two-thirds of the Legislature to be placed on a statewide ballot for voter approval. HB7, as amended, would simply put the new cap into state law.
Our source explains:
if this survives on [sic] makes it through, it will be transformational....Not only will it freeze the footprint of government as far as the state funded side of the budget, but it will apply downward pressure on the unexpended balances maintained for budget certification, which will force agencies to reduce their taxes and licensure fees.In other words, this policy will alter the trajectory of state spending.
Cahnman's Musings would like to thank Rep. Phil King for introducing this amendment. We would also like to thank reps Drew Darby and John Otto for assisting Rep. King on the floor. This was the best move the Texas House has made all session and Cahnman's Musings prays it continues.
Update: Williamson County Conservative has more here.