Voting for House Bill 1--the Texas budget
When I won this job, I never knew pushing a button would bring tears to my eyes.
by Connie Wood Scott on Monday, April 4, 2011 at 11:08am
Sunday night's vote to pass House Bill 1, the state's budget was a terribly difficult, but necessary step in a painful process.
Prior to this weekend, I have held hands with mothers worried that budget cuts would deny their children critical services. I have talked to the elderly worried about what the cuts will mean. And I have listened to school and higher education leaders, those in medicine, transportation and a multitude of others articulating why cuts should not happen.
Their stories are poignant. I understand and I care deeply.
However Texas is in a financial predicament, mostly brought on by the national economic recession.
As lawmakers, I know we shouldn't spend state money that we don't have and that we should live within our current means. I believe we are doing what we can with our limited funding, by prioritizing essential services.
Some good news is that the budget we passed out of the House still must go to the Senate and then to conference committee, where final numbers will be ironed out. There also are potential revenue sources to be tapped and additional bills working their way through the system that could help with some budget constraints.
Conservative lawmakers recognize that strong recovery has to mean showing financial restraint, which is why I voted in favor of House Bill 1.
Over the past 10 years, state economies with low tax burdens have grown by 88 percent, while those with higher burdens have grown by 58 percent. States such as Texas with no income tax versus those with high income taxes have grown 86 percent compared to 59 percent.
An overwhelming number of voters, including those in my district, made it clear in November's election that they want limited government, lower taxes and sound, responsible fiscal management of state finances. We intend to deliver.
They and we, understand that too much government spending stalls economic growth. We can't afford to hobble our state's fragile economic recovery.
There already are bright spots on the economic horizon.
In Nueces and San Patricio counties, a Chinese pipe mill should break ground in Gregory later this year and major developments are on track for the redevelopment of Naval Station Ingleside. The Eagle Ford Shale petroleum boom and many other new developments promise hundreds, if not thousands of new, high paying jobs and a monumental boost for economic conditions.
Texas' lower taxes, fiscal discipline, fewer government intrusions and free market principals are the keys to bringing such economic developments to South Texas and further jumpstarting the statewide economy.
Please bear with us and me. We are doing our best and we are here because we love Texas