Despite opposition from fiscal conservatives, lawmakers in the Texas House have continued their streak of voting for additional corporate welfare handouts.
“This legislative session has been the most fiscally irresponsible in decades,” Tim Hardin, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility told Texas Scorecard.
House Bill 4419 by State Rep. Craig Goldman (R–Fort Worth) would expand the definition of “event” under the major events reimbursements program to include film or television productions—benefiting Hollywood producers.
According to Goldman, “This bill will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to our state.”
However, TFR reports that “HB 4419 is estimated to have a negative impact on Texas taxpayers in the amount of $127.4 million over the biennium and an increasing amount above $70 million every year thereafter.”
Nevertheless, HB 4419 passed the House 121-21 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The only Republicans to vote against the measure were State Reps. Keith Bell (Forney), Briscoe Cain (Deerpark), Mano DeAyala (Houston), Mark Dorazio (San Antonio), Gary Gates (Richmond), Brian Harrison (Midlothian), Richard Hayes (Hickory Creek), Carrie Isaac (Wimberly), Stephanie Klick (Fort Worth), Terri Leo-Wilson (Galveston), Jared Patterson (Frisco), Matt Schaefer (Tyler), Matt Shaheen (Plano), Shelby Slawson (Stephenville), David Spiller (Jacksboro), Valoree Swanson (Spring), Carl Tepper (Lubbock), Tony Tinderholt (Arlington), Steve Toth (The Woodlands), Cody Vasut (Angleton), and Terry Wilson (Georgetown).
Additional corporate welfare measures are expected to be heard in the House later this week.
House Bill 3600 by State Rep. Four Price (R–Amarillo) would establish the Texas Multimedia Production Program and provide taxpayer-funded subsidies to the entertainment industry.
It was delayed originally from May 1 to May 8, and it is now scheduled to be voted on by House lawmakers on Thursday, May 11.
Last week, the House voted to pass House Bill 5 by State Rep. Todd Hunter (R–Corpus Christi), which gives corporations taxpayer-funded property tax breaks ostensibly in exchange for the creation of local jobs. Notably, HB 5 is one of Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan’s legislative priorities.
Both the Republican Party of Texas and the Democrat Party of Texas call for the abolition of corporate welfare programs in their party platforms.
“As lawmakers grow bolder and bolder with growing government and handing woke corporations money they stole from taxpayers, it is becoming obvious that the only way to stop them going forward is to primary them,” said Hardin. “We must remove these big government lawmakers from Austin before they bankrupt Texas.”
The 88th Legislative Session ends May 29.
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