"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
TPPF Policy Orientation: The 84th Texas Legislature passed a "reasonably not crappy" budget in 2015; how is Texas doing and what can we do better in the future?!?
Bob Williams, American Legislative Exchange Council:
- Texas moved from 13 to 11 among states for budget transparency last session.
- Don't give more money to K-12 or Higher Ed.
- "Outcome performance measures."
- 72 hour timeout before the #TXLEGE votes on the budget.
Rep. Donna Howard (D - Austin):
- Multiply population and inflation instead of adding them.
- This is a common refrain for Big Spenders.
- Current spending limits "are working pretty well."
- #TXLEGE only has discretion over 20% of budget.
- "We have already cut public ed."
- 31% of school districts receiving less than 2011.
- "Border Security" spending is an unmeasurable mess.
- In many ways, we agree with this assessment
- Don't be "conservative" or "liberal" be "responsible."
- Need widely agreed upon metrics.
- Local property taxes have to "pick up the slack" from the state.
- The only way to cut property taxes is to have the state spend more.
- Author's Note: The notion that local governments can't reduce spending is silly.
- Austin ISD sends $273 million to the state for Robin Hood.
Rep. Greg Bonnen (R - Houston):
- The reason Texas is ably to produce reasonably not crappy budgets is because of limitations on spending in the state constitution.
- The difference between 4% and 7% spending growth over the course of 20 years is $160 BILLION.
- TRB's were the "most requested item" from the Higher Ed. community.
- Medicaid has passed education as the largest component of the budget.
- Not going on a spending spree last session is helping the state deal with lower oil prices and the slowing economy.
- Job growth in Texas has slowed compared to a year ago.
- Sales tax collections are down.
- Medicaid case growth is expected to continue.
- Teacher retirement system is going to need more $$ moving forward.