Author Topic: Autopsy Report: Zerwas Stymied Stronger Spending Limit  (Read 121 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Autopsy Report: Zerwas Stymied Stronger Spending Limit
« on: July 12, 2019, 03:30:59 PM »
Texas Scorecard By Cary Cheshire July 10, 2019

As was the case in the regular session of 2017, the measure passed out of the Texas Senate only to be once again killed in John Zerwas’s Appropriations Committee.

For years, Texas Republicans have been campaigning on limiting the growth of government and providing tax relief for Texans. But despite controlling the state for nearly a quarter century, Republicans leaders have failed to pass a strong spending limit that protects taxpayers.

Even worse, this past legislative session they worked with Democrats to pass a bloated budget that grows the size of government by more than 12 percent—a substantial increase beyond the growth of the state of Texas or her citizens’ ability to pay.

But what happened to those trying to limit the growth of state government this session? Did they succeed? If not, who stopped them from doing so?

The answers to those questions are here in this autopsy report.

For clarity’s sake, let’s begin by reviewing the two existing limitations on state spending:

    The Pay-As-You-Go Limit

Approved by Texas voters on November 3, 1942, the “Pay-As-You-Go-Limit” requires that for any state appropriation made, there must be enough money available in that particular account—preventing the state from generating budget deficits. It’s really only good for that purpose.

    The Spending Limit

Approved by Texas voters on November 7, 1978, the state constitution’s spending limit restrains the rate of growth in appropriations from one biennium to the next. Specifically, the amendment states, “In no biennium shall the rate of growth of appropriations from state tax revenues not dedicated by this constitution exceed the estimated rate of growth of the state’s economy. The legislature shall provide by general law procedures to implement this section.” It’s this limit that actually impacts the state.

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