The state’s budget is on its way to the governor’s desk after both chambers passed the measure with minor Democrat opposition. The final vote was 135-14 in the Texas House, 30-1 in the Senate.
Though House leadership had sought to pass a bloated budget, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the conferees he appointed were successful in cutting the proposal into something palatable enough for all Republicans to support.
The Texas Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers in the Texas House, explained that they voted in support of the budget because it was within the limited government framework of the “Conservative Texas Budget” as defined by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“We voted yes on the final Texas budget because it returns us to a rare place in budget history: meaningful restraint in state spending relative to population growth and inflation,” said the dozen lawmakers in a joint statement. “This was our top budget priority.”
“The simple truth is that there are bad, and even ugly, aspects to this budget,” they continued. “And we must call it like it is. We fought against corporate welfare and crony capitalism when the budget was debated and amended on the House floor. Temporary wins were erased in the final budget despite our best efforts. We still don’t have the votes to eliminate the portions of the budget that violate core conservative principles. We will tell the truth about your money and keep fighting. At the same time, we will be honest about the positive aspects of the budget and the progress that has been made.”