Proposed State Budget Shows Need for a Balanced Approach to Meeting Needs of Texas

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Scott McCown /(512) 320-0222 x 109

January 18, 2011

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Center for Public Policy Priorities Executive Director F. Scott McCown made the following statement in response to the proposed House budget bill released late today.

“Late today the proposed House budget bill was released. The proposed budget is merely a starting point for hearings and debate leading to the official state budget, but we already know that the cuts-only approach taken in the proposed bill would hurt Texas families, cost us jobs, and undermine our economic recovery."

“Texas needs a balanced approach that includes using the Rainy Day Fund and adding new revenue. The proposed budget uses little more than the General Revenue the Comptroller projected is available in her Biennial Revenue Estimate, leaving us at least $27 billion short of what we need to write a budget that funds what the state is doing now. With a revenue shortfall this large, as the proposed budget shows, the Legislature cannot balance the budget through cuts alone without doing terrible damage. Among many other terrible things, the proposed budget would cost almost 10,000 state jobs, would cut already inadequate provider rates for Medicaid and CHIP by 10 percent, and would underfund the Foundation School Program for public education by almost $10 billion—a cut of almost 25 percent."