On the "Postcards from the Lege" section of the Statesman's website, reporter Mike Ward noted the formation of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Check out his actual posting here.
Fiscal policy watchdog forms
A new organization, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, was announced today to promote government accountability to taxpayers and citizens.
Its mission? â€œTo create and sustain a system of strong fiscal stewardship within all levels of state government that serves to empower all Texans,â€ an organizational announcement says.
Translation: Lobby the Legislature on fiscal responsibility. And ensure that the state surplus is used to give taxpayers some tax relief.
Midland businessman Tim Dunn, the chairman of the new group, said Michael Quinn Sullivan will run the organization. Sullivan served as vice president and director of media and government relations at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
TFR was originally founded in early 2006 as Empower Texans.
Sullivan said TFR will initially be engaged in seeking to ensure the $15 billion surplus is returned to taxpayers in the form of tax relief.
Says Sullivan: â€œIf lawmakers spend the surplus, they commit taxpayers to future ongoing spending and tax increases. Instead, the legislature should be encouraged to do the right thing: commit themselves to putting taxpayer protection at the top of the budget priority list by using the surplus for tax relief. For the sake of long-term opportunities for economic growth, Texas must enact strong limitations on government spending, and cap the revenues government can take from the people.â€
Marc Levin, a writer, researcher and attorney, will serve as general counsel for TFR.