State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) is praising recently passed legislation tightening the state’s spending cap.
“After four sessions of hard work, our bill to tighten the state spending cap is finally headed to the governor’s desk,” Hancock wrote on Facebook. “The tax-and-spend Biden administration may be making big plans with your taxpayer dollars, but Texas will balance our budget and do it with the added protections of a fiscally-responsible spending limit for years to come.”
Senate Bill 1366 is now on its way to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.
Under the legislation, general appropriations adjusted for inflation can’t exceed the percentage of the state’s population growth.
Tax cuts aren’t included in the cap nor is spending for natural disasters.
All 79 of the bill’s sponsors are Republicans.
The bill was endorsed by Vance Ginn, the chief economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. It codifies the Conservative Texas Budget guidelines unveiled in 2015, which have kept the growth rate of spending at around 5.5%, down from 12%, the foundation said.
“Considering that high taxes and debt are always and everywhere a government spending problem, the state’s current weak spending limit has contributed to excessive government spending that has resulted in less economic prosperity for Texans,” Ginn testified April 27 before the House Appropriations Committee. “Fortunately, the Legislature has taken strides to improve the budget picture during the last three budgets by better following the Conservative Texas Budget, which is why it is crucial to put this responsible, conservative fiscal management in statute.”
Ginn pointed out that the legislation sets a ceiling on spending, but that doesn’t mean the legislature can spend less if it chooses to do so.
“There’s no limit on shrinking government, cutting taxes and reducing regulations,” Ginn wrote. “That course would be best for Texans, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation has outlined many ways in which lawmakers should do so.”