Legislative Update: Republican Senate Passes Budget
This afternoon, all 19 Republican State Senators stood together in a united front to defeat obstructionist tactics of the Democratic Party and successfully moved forward House Bill 1, pertaining to the 2012-2013 state budget. It was apparent over the last couple of days that Democratic senators were attempting to hold the budget process hostage through the two-thirds rule in order to extort higher spending levels. Senate Republicans out-maneuvered their Democratic counterparts by bringing the bill up today on House Bill Day, when a two-thirds majority is not required, to pass a budget that every Republican senator could sign off on.
The budget passed by the Senate reduces state spending by $11 billion over last biennium. The budget as passed does not dip any further into the Rainy Day fund and does not raise taxes. The budget now goes over to the Texas House of Representatives where a conference committee will hash out the differences between the House version and Senate version.
RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri praised the Republican Senators for the vote, saying, "I would like to commend all of our Republican senators for working together in a united front to prevent the Democrats from increasing state spending and living beyond our means. It is clear that the Democrats want to exhaust our Rainy Day Fund and I am pleased that our Republican leadership in the Senate is committed to ensuring that we keep a balance in the Rainy Day Fund for the next biennium."
"Our thanks go out to all 19 Republican senators: Brian Birdwell, John Carona, Bob Deuell, Robert Duncan, Kevin Eltife, Craig Estes, Troy Fraser, Chris Harris, Glenn Hegar, Joan Huffman, Mike Jackson, Jane Nelson, Robert Nichols, Dan Patrick, Kel Seliger, Florence Shapiro, Jeff Wentworth and Tommy Williams. I would also like to give special mention to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Senator Steve Ogden who have spent countless hours addressing these tough choices facing our state. What pleases me most about our senators' action is that our entire caucus was unified. They refused to play along with business as usual and did not allow Democrats to spend more of taxpayers' money than needed."
Munisteri concluded, "It is important for our conservative base to know that the Senate budget actually results in a reduction in the size of Texas government, as opposed just to a decrease on the increase. I look forward to our House leadership and Senate leadership hammering out a final bill that protects taxpayers' rights. I am very confident they will do so."