Here is what the Associated Press reported earlier today:
“It should be no surprise that if folks want to go home at the end of this legislative session, send me $1.8 billion worth of tax relief.”
“Send me a balanced budget that has no fee increases for transportation and $2 billion for infrastructure for water, and everyone can go home and enjoy their summer,” Perry added.
1) Providing tax relief has proved to be elusive, despite $8 BILLION in new revenues. House members passed a paltry $666 million in tax relief last night; none has come from the Senate.
2) Legislators have thus far failed to find a way to responsibly fund water infrastructure.
3) Both chambers passed “balanced” budgets, so we’ll see what the conference committee produces.
That leaves us with the “no fee increases” statement.
Drew Darby: Fee Man
A fee-increase that could be considered gubernatorial veto-bait? Yep, they are doing that.
A responsible path for funding transportation exists without any tax or fee hikes: dedicate the motor vehicle sales tax to road and bridge construction.
It sounds like Gov. Perry is serious. Do legislators think “no” doesn’t mean “no”? Time will tell. Lawmakers wanting to play budget-chicken ought to be prepared for a long, hot summer in Austin.