AUSTIN – The Conservative Texas Budget Coalition issued the following statements in support of the Conference Committee’s Report for House Bill 1. This is the final 2016-17 Texas budget that will be voted up or down by both chambers. The increases in all funds of 3.6 percent to $209.4 billion and state funds of 5.8 percent to $141.4 billion are below the Coalition’s recommendation of a 6.5 percent spending limit based on population growth plus inflation.
“We applaud the conferees for putting together HB 1 that’s within taxpayers’ ability to support it, avoiding the threat of burdening taxpayers with the expectation of higher future taxes and fees,” said TPPF Center for Fiscal Policy Director the Honorable Talmadge Heflin. “The combination of limiting spending to no more than the 6.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation and $3.8 billion in historic tax relief provides an opportunity for all Texans to achieve greater prosperity through fiscally conservative principles.”
“Conservatives won the budget debate with the focus on tax cuts rather than spending,” said TPPF Vice President of Research Bill Peacock. “As it stands now, HB1 meets the criteria of the Conservative Texas Budget. This budget shows that Texas can prosper under a population growth plus inflation spending limit.”
“Texans win! With increases of 3.8 percent in all funds and 5.8 percent in state funds, the conferees did an excellent job providing a conservative budget below the 6.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation,” said TPPF Center for Fiscal Policy Economist Dr. Vance Ginn. “Research finds that this metric best constrains the footprint of government. Limited government spending, lower taxes, and more money in your pocket is what has worked repeatedly nationwide for people to prosper. It’s great news to see Texas leading the way.”
“The new budget ensures Texas will continue as a model for fiscal restraint and pro-growth tax policy,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. “Texas lawmakers should be commended for providing significant tax relief for individuals, families, and employers across the state. I applaud Texas lawmakers for using the 2015 legislative session to make Texas even more competitive when it comes to vying for investment, businesses, and the jobs they create.”
"We at Americans for Prosperity have long advocated for spending limits which hold the growth of the state budget to the increase in population and inflation,” said Americans for Prosperity-Texas Policy Director Peggy Venable. “The 84th Legislature has restrained spending in the next biennium to that level. We commend the legislature for its work and support the conference committee report."
“Good budgets don't just happen,” R Street Institute Texas Director Josiah Neeley. “The budget conference report is a result of continuous discipline on the part of lawmakers to deliver a budget that is both fiscally restrained and that allows for significant tax relief.”
“Texas Eagle Forum is pleased with the work of the budget conferees because legislators pulled in the reins on government spending,” said Texas Eagle Forum President and former Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Cathie Adams. “Holding on to sound fiscal policies to not spend more than the rate of population plus inflation, increasing spending less than 6.5%, is most commendable. Texas families can now confidently plan their own budgets because legislators kept their promises for fiscal restraint.”
“The political establishment said it couldn’t be done when the Conservative Budget Coalition set a real limit on state spending,” said Texans for Fiscal Responsibility President Michael Quinn Sullivan. “While individuals can argue over the budget details, the conference committee ably met the Conservative Budget challenge with a bottom line that lives within the population and inflation metric Texans so strongly support.”
“The Texas Legislature has remembered that sustainable government spending and reasonable taxation are essential for Texas to continue leading the nation in growth and quality of life,” Our America Initiative State Director Gil Robinson. “OAI Texas congratulates them on these accomplishments.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.