As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 3rd interview is with Rep. Phil King. We talked with Rep. King about the important battle on the budget, including his leadership in efforts to cut spending, not raise taxes, and to protect the state’s rainy day fund.
Today, Gov. Rick Perry signed the 2012-2013 Texas budget in Amarillo, Texas. Texas legislators successfully balanced the budget without raising taxes or using the Rainy Day Fund.
Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute, attended the bill signing ceremony today and released the following statement:
“We are so thankful that Texas is not Washington, D.C., and Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature have shown the rest of the country how to pass a balanced budget without raising taxes. Fiscal responsibility protects families, brings greater prosperity, and protects our freedoms by not ballooning government. This is why so many people and businesses are moving to Texas.”
As the week ends and we pass the half way point of the 30 days allowed for a Special Session, two unresolved issues we’re following closely are getting a lot of attention. SB 7 contains pro-life provisions, particularly efforts to finish the job of defunding Planned Parenthood of state tax dollars. The SB 7 conference committee report was not a pro-life as the version passed by the Senate, so numerous House pro-life members are fighting to get a better conference committee report. No resolution on this issue thus far.
Use of the Rainy Day Fund is the other issue. Numerous House Republicans have pledged not to use the Rainy Day Fund, but Democrat member Rep. Donna Howard somehow got an amendment on SB 2, that does just that. Rep. Phil King made a motion to instruct the SB 2 conference committee members to strip that amendment off, and the instruction received and approving vote of 87-59.
We expect these two issues to be resolved by early next week.
The Special Session could end as early as next week, but my belief is that we could go all they way to Day 30, June 29th.
Yesterday was an important day at the Capitol as conservative groups from all over the state stood together to stand for a conservative budget. The message was simple:
- Cut non-essential programs
- Don’t raise taxes or fees
- Don’t go back into the Rainy Day fund
Now that the Texas House has passed HB 1, the budget must now be debated and voted on by the Senate. Click here to find your elected officials contact information, or you can download our Texas Legislative Guide with all of Texas’ elected officials contact information at http://legislativeguide.libertyinstitute.org/
Below find video of the entire press conference.
Update: Liberty Institute was proud to stand today with The Texas Public Policy Foundation, Americans for Prosperity-Texas, Americans for Tax Reform, Empower Texans, Heartland Institute, the National Federation for Independent Business-Texas, and members from Tea Parties from around the state in support of a conservative budget for the state of Texas.
Photos from the Press Conference:
Today, Liberty Institute along with other conservative organizations, including The Texas Public Policy Foundation, Americans for Prosperity-Texas, Americans for Tax Reform, Empower Texans, and the National Federation for Independent Business-Texas, are hosting a joint press conference at 11 a.m. on the North Steps of the Capitol to encourage our legislators to cut non-essential programs, not raise taxes or fees, and not go back into the rainy day fund.
If you cannot attend, today is the day to contact your Texas representatives with the message: cut non-essential programs, don’t raise taxes or fees, and don’t go back into the Rainy Day fund. Click here to find your elected officials contact information, or you can download our Texas Legislative Guide with all of Texas’ elected officials contact information at http://legislativeguide.libertyinstitute.org/
Check back later today for pictures from the event.