Today the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute proposed their roadmap for how lawmakers might go about balancing the state budget without raising taxes, keeping us competitive and helping ensure economic growth in the future.

It’s no secret that due to tough economic times Texas’ leaders will face a considerable challenge balancing the state’s budget this year.  Legislators were sent to Austin this year with the clear mandate from voters across the state to limit government and reduce spending while not adding to the tax burden.

While many will decry the idea of passing a balanced budget without considering a tax hike as draconian, today the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI) presented its proposal of commonsense solutions to balance the budget without raising taxes and without compromising essential state services.

TCCRI frames this process as follows:

No matter how well-intentioned a program is, the state must live within its means by focusing on its constitutional responsibilities.

They also specifically note that while legislators need to focus on reducing state bureaucracy, officials must protect classroom-centric priorities over educational bureaucracy.

While the full list of improvements and solutions offered by the TCCRI’s “Blueprint for a Balanced Budget” is quite detailed, the high-points are listed below:

Reduce Bureaucracy
By taking certain measures to reduce state bureaucracy and increase efficiency, the state can save: $3.157 billion

General Government Expenditures
By streamlining select and unnecessary initiatives and programs, the state can save: $0.462 billion

Health and Human Services
By amending the way the state administers HHS services, $1.271 billion can be saved.

By improving productivity and focusing on classroom instruction, the state can save $12.682 billion.

Other Cuts
By making cuts to other agencies and initiatives, a $0.287 billion  savings can be found.

Policy Reforms
By enacting commonsense policy reforms to reduce state spending, Texas can save an estimated $3.500 billion.

Overall, the TCCRI estimates that by making tough decisions guided by the principles of making the state government work smarter and more efficiently while focusing on its constitutional responsibilities, Texas can save $21.359 billion.

For more information about the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute’s “Blueprint for a Balanced Budget,” visit the their website to download a PDF copy of the report.

Andrew Kerr is the Executive Director of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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