Delivering on their promises, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Kelly Hancock have delivered the most significant reform to state budgeting since the late 1970s. A pair of measures unveiled at the Capitol today would strictly limit the growth of government to no more than the sum of population growth and inflation.

That’s the measure widely supported by Texas voters generally, and Republicans in particular. In 2012, a non-binding GOP ballot measure calling for such a limitation earned 94 percent of the vote. Yet the reform has stalled out in the legislature in past years.

For example, then-senator Dan Patrick had championed the idea since before entering the Senate. In 2013 he successfully moved similar legislation out of the Finance Committee in 2013, but the measure died without being given a floor debate.

As reported earlier today by our own Cary Cheshire, Hancock’s SB9 and SJR2 would limit the growth of all state government to the population-plus-inflation level. This is in marked contrast to the current spending cap — which was adopted in the late 1970s — which applies only to a portion of the budget and uses the vacuous notion of “projected personal income growth” as the measuring stick.

The Texas Senate is living up to the pre-Session hype. Serious, reform-minded legislation is moving forward at a respectful clip.

The Senate, under Patrick’s leadership, has driven forward the policy discussions on significant tax relief, reforms to transportation funding, simplifying the business tax, controlling property taxes, putting wayward state agencies in their place, and a bevy other reforms.

While we are long way from these measures going into law, the momentum in the Senate is a promising sign for Texans eager to see elected officials — like Dan Patrick and his Senate GOP colleagues — deliver on their promises.




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."


A Barn Burner Week For Texas Conservatives

Grassroots candidates are closing with positive messages while the moderates continue with numerous last minute attacks. The Texas GOP is also meeting this week to make some big decisions.