The TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee released their legislative priorities for the 83rd Session today, calling on the state to implement the five points of the Texas Budget Compact, reduce the size and scope of government to its constitutionally-defined roles, and shine more light on state officials through strengthened financial disclosures.
JoAnn Fleming of the TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee gave an overview of the groups legislative priorities, delving into various aspects of state policy. Those areas included budgeting, taxes, transportation, government restructuring, healthcare, public education and more.
Specifically, the caucus affirmed it’s support of the governor’s Texas Budget Compact, calling for Truth in Budgeting, a constitutional limit on state spending, opposition to new taxes or tax increases, preserving a strong Rainy Day Fund, and cutting wasteful government.
The group is also backing zero-based budgeting, applauding the legislation put forth by incoming State Rep. Matt Krause.
Special emphasis was made on the need to eliminate the over-burdensome and unfairly applied gross margins tax, saying, “The tax has underperformed, is complex, costly, and difficult to comply with.”
Other priorities include restructuring areas of state government to prevent duplication of services. Ms. Fleming pointed to the multitude of departments, agencies, and programs that manage the state’s natural resources as an example of “an opportunity for some downsizing.”
Another laudable call is to eliminate the legal loophole allowing state officials to “double-dip” by legally retiring while continuing to work for the state. This practice has allowed state employees to draw on their retirement pension and draw a full salary simultaneously. If the legislature doesn’t eliminate the practice, the public should at the very least have access to a list of those who are “double-dipping.”
The TEA Party Caucus has put together a much more thorough list of conservative reforms and ideas that’s available for viewing HERE.
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