Statement From F. Scott McCown on the Comptroller's Revenue Estimate

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Scott McCown /(512) 320-0222 x 109

January 10, 2011

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Center for Public Policy Priorities Executive Director F. Scott McCown made the following statement in response to today’s release of the biennial revenue estimate by the Comptroller.

“Today the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts delivered her constitutionally required biennial revenue estimate. While she projects continuing economic recovery, her forecast shows a $4.3 billion deficit in the current budget and only $5 billion more in General Revenue for the upcoming two fiscal years than in the current biennium adjusted for the deficit. When increased population and higher costs are taken into account, Texas is at least $26.8 billion short of the General Revenue needed to provide for current services into the next biennium. In other words, we are short by at least 25 percent.

“With a revenue shortfall this large, the Legislature cannot write a budget through cuts alone without doing terrible damage to Texans and to the Texas economy. For example, cuts alone mean shortchanging our children’s education from kindergarten through college. Cuts alone mean compromising public safety. Cuts alone mean suffering for children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Cuts alone mean losing jobs and curtailing economic development.

“Instead, the Legislature should do what Texas families do. When Texas families face tough times, they use their savings and try to raise more money before they resort to cutting back on things their family really needs. The Legislature should take a similar balanced approach."