Four members of the Texas Senate want to protect taxpayers by making it harder for lawmakers to grow government.
A constitutional amendment filed by Republican State Sens. Van Taylor (Plano), Konni Burton (Colleyville), Brandon Creighton (Conroe), and Bob Hall (R-Greenville), would require the approval of two-thirds of both chambers before the spending limit could be busted beyond the constitutional limit.
“Texas has benefited greatly from the constitutional spending cap approved by voters in 1978,” said Taylor. “Conservatives should not have to worry and fight every budget season simply for the Legislature to do its job and stay within the spending bounds of the Constitution.”
Currently, it takes a simple majority vote to exceed the spending limit, which the senators say is inconsistent with other budget practices enshrined in the constitution. As explained in their press release:
For example, a two-thirds supermajority of each chamber is required to appropriate funds from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Article III, Section 49(g)) and to authorize an election for state-supported debt (Article III, Section 49). In addition, a four-fifths supermajority of each chamber is required to appropriate funds in excess of the Comptroller’s biennial revenue estimate (Article III, Section 49(a)).
The measure has been filed as Senate Joint Resolution 25.
“While the conservative grassroots have politicians in Austin terrified by the concept of busting the spending cap, procedurally this mandate can be easily overrun by tax and spend special interests,” said Taylor. “This proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution sets a higher bar to bust the spending cap, aligning it with other constitutionally-required limits and providing greater protection for taxpayers.”