Conservative senators stood up to the big spenders and won. They protected the state’s rainy day fund from misuse and put the state on the right trajectory for a fiscally responsible budget. Texas’ taxpayers were heard, loud and clear, during the budget process in both chambers!
The Senate’s version of the budget passed by a 19-12 party-line vote today.
As State Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) said Tuesday on the chamber floor, legislators must “respect” the message voters sent in November. It was a message that all levels of government should be diligently living with the taxpayers’ means, not looking for new ways to gouge the economy.
While at least a majority of Republicans have taken that message to heart, it’s readily apparent senate Democrats have not. The liberals in the Senate were pushing for job-killing government growth and irresponsibly measures to drain the rainy day fund.
Liberal shills will be misrepresenting the budget and the budget process for some time to come. Texas’ classrooms will be funded, so will services for the neediest of citizens. Law enforcement will have the tools to do their jobs and our courts will be open and accessible.
It’s all about prioritization. The state government will be spending less money than they did in the last budget. That’s the same operating reality every single Texas family and business has had to contend with the last several years; government doesn’t get a pass simply because it is government.
In real dollars, the size of state government is being significantly right-sized by both the Texas House and the Texas Senate.
You are winning! But the fight for a conservative, responsible budget isn’t over. The chambers approached the budget differently, but the differences are not insurmountable as long as Texans stay engaged. Majorities of both the House and Senate are on record working toward a budget that lives within the taxpayers’ means.
The budget now goes to a conference committee of House and Senate members, who will hammer out differences in the two documents. The conference committees are appointed by Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
Don’t relax: there is still plenty of time for irresponsible mischief. Make sure your legislators know you are still watching, and still want a conservative budget for Texas!