"We applaud the House leadership for keeping its promise to deliver a base budget that is within existing revenues. Texas families have had to set priorities and make difficult decisions in order to live within their means. The introduced budget is a positive sign that the Texas Legislature is committed to doing likewise.

"This is the first step of a long process toward building the final budget. As the budget is reviewed and debated, we expect that the Legislature will find areas where they can cut more, as well as areas where they should cut less. We will continue to work with the Legislature as they make these adjustments and deliver a final budget within available revenue that strikes the proper balance among the core services to be provided for Texans.

"If today's actions foreshadow the final budget, Texas will once again set an example for the rest of America and be positioned to continue the economic and job growth that has led the nation for the last decade."

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.

Primary website: www.TexasPolicy.com Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/TexasPublicPolicyFoundation Twitter feed: www.Twitter.com/TPPF

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