Statement by The Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy and former Chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee:

“Now that the Comptroller has released her estimate of state revenues for the next two years, it is imperative that the Texas Legislature produce a budget that balances within existing revenue.

“This session’s budget writers must recognize that just as Texans’ family budgets have shrunk, so now must the state’s. Now is the wrong time to increase the burden of state government on those family budgets. Legislators must set careful priorities to ensure that taxpayers’ limited resources are spent in the most effective and responsible manner.

“While this challenge may seem daunting, I encourage incoming lawmakers to heed the lessons of 2003-when the Legislature closed a $10 billion budget shortfall without raising taxes and positioned Texas for a decade of economic dominance.

“The decisions of this legislature will determine what kind of future Texas will have. A budget within existing revenues will keep a light burden on Texas taxpayers, encouraging large businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs here. However, raising taxes to expand government’s footprint would send Texas down the path of California and Ohio toward economic stagnation and fiscal bankruptcy.”

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. His recommendations for how legislators should address Texas’ budget situation were published in the January 2nd edition of the Austin American-Statesman.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin.

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