AUSTIN – The Texas Senate is expected today to debate House Bill 1025, the second supplemental appropriations bill of the 83rd Regular Legislative Session. This bill would add several hundred million dollars in new spending to the current budget, and possibly enable the state to spend billions from the state's Economic Stabilization Fund on water infrastructure projects. The Texas Public Policy Foundation urges Senators to carefully consider whether the new spending embodied in this bill is to satisfy "needs" or "wants," and whether some – or all – of the funding could be done without.
"House Bill 1025 should give pause to fiscal conservatives in the Texas Senate," said James Quintero, Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Fiscal Policy. "The state's current 2012-13 budget has already increased under the first supplemental appropriations bill by $6.6 billion in General Revenue. That new spending will almost certainly be carried forward into the new 2014-15 budget. Now lawmakers are back for a second bite at the spending apple, proposing to add hundreds of millions in new spending to the current budget and opening up the possibility of spending another $2 billion from the state's Economic Stabilization Fund."
Quintero continued, "Being surrounded by so many special interest groups in Austin, it's easy to see how legislators might be tempted to think that Texans want all this new spending. But as poll after poll after poll shows, Texans want less government, not more, even when it comes to education. This should give legislators caution as they consider HB 1025."
To see the Foundation's Bill Analysis for House Bill 1025, click here.
James Quintero is senior policy analyst for the Center for Fiscal Policy with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.