Texas Budget Compact
Texas is a conservative state with a budget that spends less per capita than almost every state in the nation. But in recent years, as the economy went into a real tailspin and revenues to government decreased, budget-writers leaned on a variety of accounting maneuvers to reduce the impact of spending cuts. By delaying payments, spending dedicated funds on general government or using dedicated monies to certify the budget, lawmakers pushed off certain financial obligations to the next budget period. In utilizing a conservative estimate of Medicaid caseload growth, the state finds itself several billion dollars short in the current budget with anticipated costs to grow by several billion dollars more in the next budget.
Unless Washington acts to rein in the skyrocketing costs of Medicaid, Texas lawmakers will continue to have to make tough choices in order to balance the budget.
Governor Perry has proposed the Texas Budget Compact to control the cost of government. He supports truth-in-budgeting reforms that will end payment deferrals and other budgetary shell games in the next few years. Governor Perry has also proposed a stricter spending cap and a renewed commitment to funding the priorities of the state without raising taxes.
For Texas to prosper, we must live within our means. The Texas Budget Compact puts us on course to do just that.