The Austin American Statesman and Jason Embry have a great “50 facts” article on cuts in the proposed Texas budget. You can decide if you think these are cuts that make sense or not, but I found it very helpful. Some of the cuts make sense, and some of the cuts are very bothersome.
Take a few minutes to educate yourself on some of the things that are coming down the pike.
Thursday was a big day in the House, with members voting to approve cuts and rainy-day-fund use to close the $4 billion shortfall in the current budget. You can read all about it here.
I’d venture to say today is even more important. Today, House members will vote on the state budget for the next two years, and based on the state’s revenue situation, they will make sizable cuts across state government. Make no mistake: This is a budget that reduces spending and shrinks government.
This is not the final product. The Senate will pass a budget next – likely one that spends more money – and then the two sides will see if they can agree on something. There’s a pretty good chance the final budget will spend more and cut less than this one. Still, today’s is a critical vote. Not only will this be the bill that the House is working from in the conference committee, and not only does it represent months’ of work on the part of House budget-writers, but it is a clear statement of the House’s priorities and the result of the body’s decision to combat the budget shortfall over the next two years without new taxes and without tapping the rainy day fund.
So, this morning, we will put the usual First Reading bells and whistles aside and highlight, in no particular order, 50 of the most important decisions made in the House budget. Hopefully this list will help you follow the debate today, or at least, better understand what’s at stake.
One other thing: Many of the comparisons made here are comparison between estimated spending in the current biennium and what the House proposes to spend in the next biennium. But this is a growing state, and such a comparison often doesn’t take growth into account.