Monday, May 09, 2011

Texas State Senate Passes Budget Bill

The Texas State Senators held together and forced a vote on the state budget. The result of the maneuver - that of bringing the vote on a bill day when a majority of 2/3 is not required - brought the desired result.

From the Republican Party of Texas Chairman's press release:

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

Republican Party of Texas Chairman 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."

Some decry the use of allowing such a big vote without the obligation of acquiring a 2/3 vote. The real fact to notice is that this could have been suspended any time. The majority in the Texas House is a super majority of Republicans and it is more notable - and commendable - that this perfectly legal maneuver is not used more. The restraint of Texas Republicans is noteworthy.


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