We were one of several research, business, and taxpayer groups holding a press conference at the Capitol today, establishing a set of guidelines for the Legislature in drafting an effective, fiscally responsible state budget.

Watch the press conference below.

While a house can be admired in a calm, beautiful day, its sturdiness and craftsmanship is revealed in a storm. The state budget process really is no different. We’re offering lawmakers a blueprint for creating the budget, guidelines that will help ensure a responsible level of state government.

Just as the rafters in the attic are as integral to the durability of a house as the walls, so do these guidelines work in concert.

But foundational to the architecture of a prudent budget is fiscal restraint – keeping the cost of government low and restricting its growth.

While this has obvious benefits for the economy – keeping money in the hands of the people for investment and use – it also keeps the state flexible for future decision-making.

We see the draconian actions being considered in California because they have historically over-spent and over-grown their state government.

No one knows how long this economic crisis will last, and it is critical in these opening days that the Legislature not over-commit to spending that taxpayers, our economy, will not be able to afford in two or four years.

Tens of thousands of Texas families will this week consider their mid-month finances – carefully considering their priorities, saving all they can and even cutting back or making do without, all in the name of ensuring their long-term fiscal health.

It’s critical that the legislature follow this same path in the months ahead.

You can read the full blueprint here.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."