Straus Signals Support for Tapping Rainy Day Fund

With predictions of a tight budget when lawmakers return, liberals are looking longingly at tapping into the state’s savings account to fund pet projects and expand the size of government. Rather than cut spending and live within their means, many legislators are clamoring for the state to raid the Economic Stabilization Fund also known as the “rainy day fund.”

Signaling his support for those wishing to take a hammer to the state’s piggy bank, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R–San Antonio) has appointed State Rep. Sarah Davis (R–West University Place) to co-chair a select committee to determine the balance of the ESF.

While the selection of the fiscally and socially liberal Davis is already enough to raise conservatives’ eyebrows, Straus appointed State Rep. Donna Howard (D–Austin) to the committee as well.

Howard, one of the most liberal Democrats in the legislature, made headlines just yesterday by writing an op-ed in the Austin-American Statesman where she advocated tapping into state savings and bringing Obamacare to Texas as “painless solutions for the Texas budget” while also arguing against tax relief and school choice.

“First and foremost, we can shore up critical programs by tapping into the Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, until the economy rebounds as anticipated,” wrote Howard. “This fund, which will soon have a balance of over $10 billion, was created specifically for times like this, in order to smooth over temporary dips in the economy. Second, we should finally adopt some form of Medicaid expansion… Third, we must avoid any further self-inflicted budgetary missteps and say no to politicized efforts to eliminate the franchise tax or divert public dollars to private schools.”

Straus also appointed State Reps. Lyle Larson (R–San Antonio), Drew Springer (R–Muenster), and Armando Walle (D–Houston) to the committee as well. The group joins conservative State Sens. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston) and Don Huffines (R–Dallas), who Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed to the committee.

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Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire serves as Vice President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, the premier project of Empower Texans. A 6th Generation Texan, Cary attended Texas A&M University was active in a number of conservative causes including Ted Cruz's Senate campaign. He has also worked on campaigns to elect conservatives to Congress and the Texas Legislature. Cary enjoys college football, genealogy research, and the occasional craft beer.

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