Gov. Perry’s “Texas Budget Compact” Leave Kids in the Cold

Be ready for even more cuts if the governor has his way.


Austin American Statesman, Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thanks to sales tax collections that are running ahead of projections, and to a boost in collections from oil and gas production taxes, Texas lawmakers will convene in January with a little more money available than they expected they’d have when they last met in 2011.

The state’s budget woes are far from over, of course. Legislators still will have hard choices to make next year.

If any of them thinks the better-than-expected tax collections mean they will have a little more to spend on, say, public education, they should think again, or so says Gov. Rick Perry.

Channeling his inner Grover Norquist in a speech Monday in Houston, Perry said legislators should pledge to leave alone any additional money that comes their way. Don’t spend it, the governor said.

Higher sales tax collections should not be seen “as a license to spend freely,” he said.

The governor’s remarks came as he unveiled his “Texas Budget Compact,” a list of principles he wants lawmakers to follow as they work through next year’s legislative session, among them: no new taxes or tax increases, support for a constitutional spending cap tied to population growth and inflation, an end to deceptive budgeting, and the maintenance of a strong rainy day fund.

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