Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Spending vs. Taxation: Does the Conservative Texas Budget meet the needs of Texans

"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
Proverbs 21:20

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.
  • 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.

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