New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 17, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
April 28,2011 djftíoiHji .
The lobbyist walked out of the capitol, disgustedly shaking his head.
“It’s the worst session I’ve ever seen,” said the lobbyist, a former legislator of more than a decade. “Everybody over there’s scared to death.
“Hick Perry’s running for vice president," the lobbyist continued. "David Dewhurst's running for the U.S. Senate, and every statewide non-judicial elected official wants to run for something else.”
The lobbyist, no raving liberal, was aghast at the posi
Dave McNeely has covered Texas politics and government since 1962.
S3 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to help make up a shortfall in the budget for the current fiscal year.
But Perry opposes taking more from the fund for education and health care. He wants it reserved for natural disasters, like Hurricane Ike that wrecked Galveston in 2006.
Critics think Perry can respond to dramatic disasters like hurricanes. Call out
The Legislature appropriated $1.3 billion from the fund.
• 2005: $1.9 billion was spent from the fund.
• 2007: The fund was not used; rapid economic growth was foreseen.
• 2009: The fund also was not tapped, as the governor and Legislature used $16 billion in stimulus money to supplant general revenue to balance the state’s budget —- even as the governor criticized the stimulus.
Meanwhile, top legislators and others warn of a structural deficit created
the NaHnnal riiTorrt* TZZu" whfn a new business tax in 2006 to
(he National (ruard. Declare replace revenue from a propertv tax cut
over the^er? HellCOpter has fa,,en abou< $10 billion short every
Rut fLT vf8?! two years - will continue to do so
But for the harder-to-see unless changes are made.
Perry so far has put forth no suggestions about what to do.
While people associated with the Tea Party demonstrated behind the
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fn1?r'morion br'mi er Joe Straus to reach a balanced budg- down on the state's education and
He echoed Ae'seiMeoHrnpending orcSl omthe ^ T* d“traled behind «hi
doom expressed by superintendents, guard ‘ ^P110 recently against touching the
----■ He savs he .¡„ . . Rainy Day Fund, another, much larg-
ne says he wont sign legislation to -----«------■ • * - - 6
use that remaining $6 billion or so from
the Rainy Day Fund - despite the pleas
of teachers and other educators, and
parents, who carry signs to some of Per-
ry’s appearances around the state,
imploring him to rescue Texas kids.
(He did not say he would veto further
principals, teachers, university administrators and others who think the cuts-only approach is fueled by the political ambitions of Perry and, to a lesser extent, Dewhurst, and is dangerous to the future of Texas and its schoolchildren.
care front’ many doc' me aid not say he would veto furthei
medic|nn^Zlll'ra'0h and od,er appropriations of money from the fund, to imoarMhevth?, d a‘ 'he Texas pernor can allow a hill to taEnS become law without his signature.)
Texas chainsaw massacre of cuts will have if it is anywhere close to what passed the Texas House.
Governors and legislators in the past — Democrat John Connally in the 1960s, Democrat Mark White and Republican Bill Clements in the 1980s, Democrat Ann Richards in the 1990s — faced up to the need for more resources for educa-
The Rainy Day Fund was created in the late 1980s, to provide reserves to pay recurring costs when revenues are short
er group gathered in front of the capitol, calling for it to be spent on needs they consider critical.
The Center for Public Policy Priorities, which seeks to see that services are provided for children and poor people, advocates spending the Rainy Day Fund now to avoid crippling cuts in education and health care.
That, the group says, makes far more sense than saving the money to deal with shortfalls later.
Another moderate former lawmaker, not identified because of his sensitive
HiDrAmn»«!! . .----- , ,IUI luenuneu oecause ot ms sensitivt
The comptroller can add part of oil and position, was around when to Legisla gas tax revenues that pyppbH I, j . . T" U1C
gas tax revenues that exceed what was collected in 1987, plus some of any leftover general revenue at the end of a biennium.
Perry and the Legislature have used
don and healdi care. They either called the Rainy Day Ftind in pXe^
toTfomarfioat20n1‘ r"'T' k m20°3: Perry 3)80 insisted that a $1°
u *? 1L ^ PerrV has blllion shortfall be handled solely
Siv aioTesre lOWn °'’ T" *““■ He through sPending ™<s, without more
nnally acquiesced m spending just over taxes.
ture raised taxes in 1984 to improve schools and teacher salaries.
He is disgusted with the legislators following the cuts-only approach of those in control.
“I’m ashamed of them and for them,” he said.
“There’s not enough guts in the capitol to draw a good flock of buzzards.”
■ ABC's “This Week' (KSAT San Antonio 8 a.m.) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Reps. Joe Walsh, R-III., Steve Southerland, R-Fla., Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., and Allen West, R-Fla.
■ NBC's 'Meet the Press" — (KENS 5 8 a.m.) Geithner; former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan;
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Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.
■ CBS' 'Face the Nation" (WOAI 8 a.m.) — Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
■ CNN's 'State of the Union" (9-10 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m.) — Donald Trump; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Rep.
Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil.
■ 'Fox News Sunday" (WTTG 9 a.m.) — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-0kla.; Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
Most commented stories!
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