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Rep.Rodriguez, Eddie

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Rep. Rodriguez votes against " putting the cart before the horse "  print page

by: Rep. Rodriguez, Eddie
02/20/2007

AUSTIN -- Today State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (Austin) voted against the resolution to break the constitutional spending cap for the first time in Texas history.

SCR 20 allows the legislature to break the constitutional spending cap in order to pay for local school property tax cuts, however, with the passage of a separate appropriations bill for that purpose, there was no need to take that action at this point.

"It's just common sense to wait until we know exactly what the legislature has determined to pay for before authorizing how much can be spent," said Representative Rodriguez. "It is fiscally careless to give away a blank check."

Breaking the spending cap today sets the priorities for the budget that will be taken up later this session.

"It's bad public policy to allow the state to bust the spending cap for the sole purpose of tax cuts while ignoring other necessary state priorities such as education, children's health insurance, transportation, and criminal justice," said Rodriguez. "Breaking the constitutional spending cap for the first time in Texas history reflects our state's priorities which ignore our state's human needs."

Budget decisions, including property tax cuts, for the 2008-2009 biennium should be made in the General Appropriations Act where all spending priorities can be debated side by side so that legislative members can make a more informed decision.

During the debate over SCR 20, Representative Rodriguez voted to postpone consideration of SCR 20 until the second reading of HB 1. However, the motion to postpone did not gain the vote necessary for adoption.

"Today the legislature authorized the biggest spending cap expansion in Texas history, without first seeing a budget, that's just not good policy."


Contact: Tashara Mitchell
(512) 463-0674

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