AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation released a statement in support of the 2016-17 budget as developed by the Conference Committee. The budget increases in all funds, including federal funds, of 3.6 percent to $209.4 billion and state funds of 5.8 percent to $141.4 billion are below the recommended 6.5 percent spending limit based on population growth plus inflation.
“We set conservative markers before the session started for state funds and all funds of a recommended 6.5 percent spending limit based on population growth plus inflation,” said Talmadge Heflin, the Foundation’s Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy. “In considering this limit, the needs of the state and the ability of the taxpayers to support this level of spending were taken into account. We commend the conferees for showing that Texas can prosper under this metric.”
“We’ve come a long way from the heavy spending of the last decade or so,” said Bill Peacock, the Foundation’s Vice President of Research. “HB 1 starts us down the path of keeping the Texas budget from increasing more than population growth plus inflation.”
“It’s terrific that the conferees have put forward a budget that meets the needs of the state as measured by population growth plus inflation,” said Dr. Vance Ginn, the Foundation’s Economist in the Center for Fiscal Policy. “Though there has been some concern about changing the spending limit to the increase in population growth plus inflation, this is a clear indication that Texas can prosper with a budget under the guide of this metric covering more of the budget. It’s a good day to be a fiscal conservative from limited government spending and $3.8 billion in tax relief this session.”
The Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In the 78th Session, Heflin served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and navigated a $10 billion state budget shortfall through targeted spending cuts that allowed Texans to avoid a tax increase.
Bill Peacock is vice president of research and director of the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Vance Ginn, Ph.D. is an economist in the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.