Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public PolicyFoundation, today issued this statement on House Bill 14:
“HB 14 is a much-needed transparency bill that will begin to shine a light on local government spending and debt. We encourage lawmakers to join with us in supporting this critical legislation.
“If we want our fellow Texans to be educated and engaged in civic matters, then we must first provide them the tools to do so. Right now, Texans have few options to find out how much debt their city, county, or school district has; what that debt went to pay for; or what they owe as a result. This is simply unacceptable.
“One of the consequences of keeping Texans in the dark about the happenings of their local governments has been the worsening of local-government finances. As it stands, Texas has the second-highest local debt per capita of any big state, and its local spending growth is nearly double that of population and inflation. Without the kind of good-government reforms that we see in HB 14, it is impossible to see how these trends get any better on their own.”
To see the Foundation’s written testimony in support of House Bill 14, click here: http://www.texaspolicy.com/center/fiscal-policy/reports/shining-light-local-spending-and-debt
The Honorable Talmadge Heflin is Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Heflin served 11 terms in the Texas House of Representatives and chaired the House Appropriations Committee in 2003, leading the Texas Legislature’s successful efforts to close a $10 billion budget deficit without a tax increase.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.