On Perry’s State of the State Address

Watching the State of the State address from the House Gallery, the president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility said on Gov. Rick Perry’s speech was a positive one for Texas’ taxpayers.

“Gov. Perry is correctly proposing a restrained program of spending, in line with the same economic reality facing Texas’ families,” said Michael Quinn Sullivan, whose organization works with 50,000 Texas voters. “His strong support for a strict spending limit sets a high standard for lawmakers.”

“At the same time, it appears that Perry’s budget proposals keep state spending in check, while reallocating funds based on state priorities. We can debate the merits of the specific activities he proposes, such as continuing the movie industry subsidies, but his priorities-based approach should be modeled throughout the Session as legislators address the budget knowing taxpayers simply cannot afford bigger government.”

TFR was one of the lead organizations promoting the state’s spending transparency legislation in 2007, and Sullivan said he was glad Perry is continuing to advocate for local government transparency this Session.

“Taxpayers foot the bill for spending by our schools, cities and counties, let taxpayers see the receipt. With technology available today, we should be able to easily follow how our dollars are spent.”

Sullivan said he was pleased that the governor was calling for an end to the diversions of gas-tax dollars, and hopes legislators will note some of the budget recommendations for the rainy-day fund.

“Even though some lawmakers want to use the rainy day fund as a way to grow programs and obligate taxpayers to new or expanded activities, the governor’s budget recommendations would point to using those monies for one-time expenditures,” added Sullivan.

“Legislators should keep in mind that the national economic situation could get worse before it gets better. It would be imprudent for the Legislature to obligate Texans to higher taxes next Session by increasing spending this Session. The best stimulus package for Texas is one of low taxes and limited government.”

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