Monday, May 22, 2017

#TXLEGE: Words, Actions, and Greg Abbott's priorities....


"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Isaiah 5:20

Words:
"As you know, I want to see the rate rollback part of property taxes achieved," Abbott told The Texas Tribune after a bill-signing event here at a church.
Actions:
Texas House and Senate budget negotiators agreed on a state budget for 2018-19 late Saturday — deciding to tap the state’s rainy day fund, a key sticking point — but not before Gov. Greg Abbott demanded they add $100 million to programs that are controlled by his office.

He clearly felt that he needed more in the area of his trusteed funds in order carry out some of the economic development,” Rep. John Zerwas, the House’s top budget writer, told reporters after the committee adjourned about 1 a.m. Sunday. “If we had had a little bit more of a heads-up, we might have been able to make the accommodations. But it works out fine.”

Daniel Hodge, Abbott’s chief of staff, said that the last-minute demands were not new. “What we asked for last night was what we had been asking for since January in new money,” he said Sunday. The committee added the money.

While Zerwas, R-Richmond, was characteristically diplomatic about the demand, other lawmakers showed their frustration. When the committee was getting ready to reconvene, Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, jokingly said: “Is this about more corporate welfare? Is that why we’re still here?” 
[Note: Have we seriously gotten to the point where Sarah Davis controls the moral high ground?!?

....

Abbott’s demands were delivered by Hodge and Steve Albright, the governor’s budget director. While they didn’t directly state that Abbott would veto the budget without more money for his office, “it was a clear indication to me that the governor would have a hard time signing off on a budget without that,” Zerwas said.

The money would go primarily to the Texas Enterprise Fund — which provides subsidies for companies considering moving to or expanding in Texas — and to incentive programs meant to lure filmmakers to Texas and to support the music industry.

Hodge said the governor’s office all along had made clear that Abbott was seeking a total of $110 million for economic incentive funds administered through his office — $60 million for the Texas Enterprise Fund, $40 million for the Governor’s University Research Initiative and $10 million for film and music incentives. The budget agreed to by the conference committee, before the governor’s office intervened, included only $10 million for the university program and no new money for the other incentives.

....

After the House and the Senate ignored the pre-K program for most of the legislative session, the conference committee directed $293 million for it, although the money came out of funding already earmarked for schools, not new funding.

[Note: Emphasis added.]
Well, this one...kinda speaks for itself.

With barely a week remaining in the current legislative session, Governor Abbott is paying lip service to structural property tax reform (as it festers) while attempting to move heaven and earth to push subsidies for the following groups:
  • Socialized education bureaucrats.
  • Leftist college professors.
  • Hollywood.
Bottom Line: Woe unto politicians who prioritize special privileges for socialized education bureaucrats, leftist college professors, and Hollywood over tax relief for vulnerable Texas homeowners.

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