State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst says she is largely in agreement with
some conservative political groups who want the next session of the state Legislature to strictly curb spending when they convene in January.
The Texas Eagle Forum held a news conference in the state capital this week saying the only increases in state spending would be for the increases in the state’s population and inflation. That number would be 6.2 percent. Since 2004 the state budget has increased by roughly ten times that, at 62.7 percent.
The Eagle Forum and several other groups affiliated with several Tea Party groups said that Texas taxpayers are paying more than $8 billion this year alone, and a family of four is paying more than $1200 a year.
Kolkhorst says, for the most part she agrees but there are some forms of state spending that need more funding because they are investments in our future.
Kolkhorst says Texas is now ‘awash with money’ but doesn’t want big state government spending to exhaust our capabilities and therefore limit economic growth. She says state spending should keep Texas on ‘the right path.’
Critics of the spending proposals say the plan would cut spending from state programs already short of funding.
Eva DeLuna Castro, the senior budget analyst for the liberal leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities says the legislature needs to spend about nine percent more every year just to keep the programs going.
One of the targets for the budget is the controversial business tax enacted to relieve the school district inequality. The law taxes business in order to give local school districts a property tax relief.
The groups also propose temporarily reducing slaes taxes and return more money to taxpayers.
The limits proposed would cap state spending at $140.5 billion in all funds, including those from the federal government.