Texas Republicans have been betrayed by House Speaker Joe Straus and his Appropriations Committee chairman, John Otto (R-Dayton).

As you know, strengthening the state’s constitutional spending limit is supported by 94 percent of Republican primary voters and passed the Texas Senate two months ago. The Senate measure, Senate Bill 9, was finally given a House hearing this morning – albeit a hearing in which the public was not allowed to testify.

[side_text]Make sure that your state rep knows that conservatives expect results. You can call the Capitol switchboard at 512-463-4630.[/side_text]

Sadly, it was a scam. While SB 9 was originally about making sure government costs were kept under strict control, the new version passed by the Texas House Appropriation’s Committee will instead let the spenders re-define the “limit” as whatever they want to buy.

Otto scrapped the simple and straightforward limit by the Senate, and made it a dizzying maze of calculations that won’t limit government growth. He did this all without taking public testimony on his new, grow-government take on SB 9.

The version of Senate Bill 9 passed by the Texas House Appropriations Committee is just unacceptable. It’s a disaster. Indeed, it is arguably worse than the status quo.

Will conservatives allow that happen?

There is still time for the Texas House to fix it. When Straus brings the bad version of SB 9 to the floor, it can be re-amended to include the original language. Otherwise, it’s not a limit worth the paper it will be printed on.

UPDATE (May 31, 2015): John Otto killed SB9 last night because he refuses to allow the strict spending limit favored by Texas Republicans. If your legislator supported the Straus coalition of Democrats and moderate Republican to run the Texas House, they killed a reform favored by 94 percent of GOP primary voters.

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."