AUSTIN – Texas state spending has increased faster than population growth plus inflation since 2004. To explore options for an effective tax and expenditure limit (TEL), the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy will host the panel “Limits or No Limits: Will Budget Restrictions Alter Growth in our State?” at the 14th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 11:00 am CST at the Hilton Austin Hotel in Salon J.

“Tax and expenditure limits work like a governor on a truck,” said Talmadge Heflin, director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “If the truck's speed is too fast, it goes out of control and wrecks. History demonstrates that spending all the revenue in years of plenty grows government at a pace that is not sustainable and that eventually wrecks the economy. This panel will discuss whether reforming the state’s spending limit will break this cycle.”
Panelists include:

  • Senator Kelly HancockTexas State Senate
  • Ursula Parks, DirectorLegislative Budget Board
  • Dr. Barry PoulsonEmeritus Professor of Economics, University of Colorado
  • The Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director, Center for Fiscal Policy, Texas Public Policy Foundation (Moderator) 

For over thirteen years, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation has been one of the nation’s top policy conferences, selling out each year while bringing together lawmakers, policy experts, and engaged citizens from across the political spectrum to discuss critical issues facing the Lone Star State and America. This year’s program includes more than 35 panel discussions and debates on the major issues affecting Texas’ future. 
Members of the public and media who wish to attend may register and view the agenda at:

Keynote and plenary sessions will be livestreamed at: 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation earlier this year released research on tax and expenditure limits. To read the publication, please visit:

The Honorable Talmadge Heflin is the director of the Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy. Prior to joining the Foundation, Heflin served the people of Harris County as a state representative for 11 terms. Well regarded as a legislative leader on budget and tax issues by Democratic and Republican speakers alike, he for several terms was the only House member to serve on both the Ways and Means and Appropriations committees. 

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

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