Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his tea party allies are attempting to tighten the spending cap so that it applies to more parts of the Texas budget, according to the Austin American-Statesman
Although legislative leaders will set a state spending limit today for the next two-year budget, Perry and other tea party Republicans say the cap does not provide enough spending restraint.
“As a small government conservative, I believe that government growth, if any, should be kept to the bare minimum,” Perry said recently, as he promoted his own Texas Budget Compact proposal.
The governor’s proposal would link the spending limit to growth in the state’s population and inflation instead of the current method, which sets the cap based on projected growth in the state’s total personal income.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a limited government think tank, claims total state spending since 1990 has increased by 310 percent, a much greater rate than the growth in population and inflation in the state.
However, Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson and other lawmakers oppose the reforms. They argue, as Watson put it, that "regressive budget-writing regulations just aren’t designed to promote an honest conversation about what Texas needs [and instead are intended] to bind the state’s hands and make it harder to tend to our future.”
Texas has been operating under a spending cap since 1978 when voters overwhelming approved it as an amendment to the state constitution.
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