Spending Restraint Draws a Qualified
‘Yes’ to the Budget
Government spending must not outgrow the people it serves. But for decades the consistent pattern has been for spending in Austin to grow too much, too fast. That pattern broke in 2015, however the initial proposed House budget in 2017 again spent too much money by looting the state’s savings account for $2.5 billion to pay for ordinary items when there was no compelling reason to do so. The Texas Freedom Caucus strongly opposed that budget proposal.
We voted yes on the final Texas budget because it returns us to a rare place in budget history: meaningful restraint in state spending relative to population growth and inflation. This was our top budget priority.
The simple truth is that there are bad, and even ugly, aspects to this budget. And we must call it like it is. We fought against corporate welfare and crony capitalism when the budget was debated and amended on the House floor. Temporary wins were erased in the final budget despite our best efforts. We still don’t have the votes to eliminate the portions of the budget that violate core conservative principles. We will tell the truth about your money and keep fighting. At the same time, we will be honest about the positive aspects of the budget and the progress that has been made.
- “All funds” and “all state funds” are kept below population and inflation growth by ~$2 billion
- Most pro-life budget in Texas history; including defunding Planned Parenthood and its affiliates
- Teachers retirement and healthcare programs received much needed additional funds
- Border security funding is maintained despite opposition by some Republicans and Democrats
- Education spending adequately meets enrollment growth, and (unlike the initial House budget) does not skip or defer payments to the Foundation School Program
- Utilizes $900 million from the Rainy Day Fund for long-term capital expenditures
- Accounts for $1.8 billion in highway funds by delaying the start of a new stream of payments by one month
- No meaningful tax relief
- Corporate welfare programs are maintained, including the film-subsidy program and the Texas Enterprise Fund
- The 900+ page budget was printed and available for members and the public to view only about 36 hours prior to the final vote
FREEDOM CAUCUS MEMBERS:
Rep. Kyle Biedermann Rep. Briscoe Cain Rep. Matt Krause
Rep. Mike Lang Rep. Jeff Leach Rep. Matt Rinaldi
Rep. Matt Schaefer Rep. Matt Shaheen Rep. Jonathan Stickland
Rep. Valoree Swanson Rep. Tony Tinderholt Rep. Bill Zedler