Despite widespread commitment from Republicans during last year’s election cycle to ‘preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund’ as part of the conservative Texas Budget Compact, only 15 representatives put their legislative votes where their political mouths were months before.
During debate on HB 4 this week, a boondoggle debt-funding mechanism purportedly to kick start the state’s current water infrastructure development plans with $2 Billion of state funds, State Rep. Van Taylor rightly proposed an amendment to protect the state’s Rainy Day Fund by requiring that when funding HB 4 (via HB 11), the legislature would be restricted from using money from the RDF.
The contention that HB 4 will address the state’s water issues is false. It is yet another example of government spending more tax dollars instead of working for systemic reforms.
However, when the motion was called to a vote, only 14 Republicans stood with Mr. Taylor indicating their intention to follow through on their campaign commitments to ‘preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund’.
HB 4 went on to resoundingly pass the full House. What is sad is that Texas will not likely see any real increased access to water due to this proposal. Byzantine regulations on water rights, encroaching federal EPA and state regulations, and highly litigious environmental groups ultimately conspire to make any water development project so cost-prohibitive and inefficient that very few projects actually go anywhere.
What’s worse is that from the beginning of the session, the Texas Legislature has been sending alarming signals to taxpayers. Legislators have displayed a willingness to spend and grow government instead of promoting the conservative fiscal policies that have made us the bastion of economic growth in otherwise troubling economic times.
It’s disappointing to see so many who made such stalwart commitments to their voters just last year, make early indications that they are willing to sell that stock to cash-in with the Austin grow-government crowd.
Tell your legislators to stand firm on their commitment to protect the RDF! Sign the Texas Budget Compact today!
Those voting responsibly to protect the Rainy Day Fund:
(Krause – absent at vote, statement in journal, would have voted correctly)