AUSTIN – Later today, the Texas House of Representatives will take up for debate Senate Joint Resolution 1, a constitutional amendment that sets in motion a plan to raid the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund for a proposed $2 billion in the upcoming biennium. Members should be aware: SJR 1 is poor public policy.
SJR 1 asks voters to allow the expenditure of billions from the state’s “savings account” during a time of unequalled prosperity, all because the Legislature failed to prioritize its discretionary funds. This sets an incredibly bad precedent for future legislatures. What’s more, the method in which lawmakers are proposing to spend this money – by constitutionally dedicating the monies – is nothing more than a ploy to get around the state’s spending cap.
For these reasons, the Texas Public Policy Foundation urges Members not to support Senate Joint Resolution 1.
“SJR 1 is poor public policy and fiscal conservatives in the Texas Legislature should take a stand against this kind of spending,” said Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy. “The 83rd Texas Legislature is not suffering from a lack of revenues, and lawmakers have done more than their fair share of spending this session. Lawmakers must live within their means and prioritize their spending, just like every Texas family does.”
Heflin continued, “The method that lawmakers are using to tap the Economic Stabilization Fund is also cause for concern, especially at a time when lawmakers have so heartily professed a need for truth-in-budgeting. Lawmakers need to be honest and straightforward with Texas taxpayers on the amount of money that they are spending.”
For a full rundown of the Foundation’s positions on the upcoming budget bills, go here:http://www.texaspolicy.com/center/fiscal-policy/blog/tppf-closing-days-83rd-regular-session.
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.
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