With the national economic outlook continuing to look dim, Texans must insist that the Legislature focus on policies that ensure the state’s fiscal soundness. Whoever leads the Texas House must be committed to spending restraint, low taxes, property tax reform and a competitive business environment, the president of the state’s most active taxpayer accountability group said today.

“Property taxes in Texas are overwhelming our families and adding heavily to the pocket concerns that most of us feel,” said Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. “Texas families need the Texas Legislature focused on reigning in out of control property tax system, protecting our job-growth climate, and ensuring state government does no damage to our economy.”

Sullivan noted that while the Texas House Speaker doesn’t have the same powers as the federal equivalent, lawmakers’ choice for Speaker will have a significant influence on the state.

“It seems like pretty soon there will be more House members declared for the speakership than not, so we felt it was important to see where all of these men and women stood in relationship to each other on the Fiscal Responsibility Index,” said Sullivan.

“House tradition dictates that the incumbent speaker not vote, but I think most of us are familiar with Speaker Craddick’s tenure and record – the strengths and weaknesses. We thought it worthwhile to re-release our fiscal rating index from the previous session in the hopes that Legislators will encourage every speaker candidate to commit to redoubling efforts to sustain and promote fiscally sound policy and maintain as their foremost consideration the wise stewardship of the taxpayers resources.”

Of the nine declared opponents to Craddick, their average score last Session was a 44.16 percent. The Texas House received an average score of 53.40 percent. Overall, House Republicans averaged a 75.01 percent and Democrats a 31.74 percent.

Allan Ritter (D-Nederland) 64.29%
Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton) 64.29%
Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) 62.5%
Delwin Jones (R-Lubbock) 46.15%
Tommy Merritt (R-Longview) 38.46%
Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) 35.71%
Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) 30.77%
Scott Hochberg (D-Houston) 28.57%
Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) 26.67%

“We look forward to working with all lawmakers in crafting and promoting fiscally responsible legislation,” said Sullivan. “We will do our part to keep their constituents informed and active during and after the legislative session.”

The organization’s Index from the last legislation session is available at EmpowerTexans.com/index.