Here we go….. Just like on the national stage the debate is about Republicans caving and raising the Debt Ceiling. In Texas the story is the Rainy Day fund. Governor Perry said he would protect the Rainy Day Fund once before and then he caved. The question is will Gov. Rick Perry stand with Conservatives or again allow them to tap into the Rainy Day Fund?
One Way or Another by Weston Hicks
“It only took one day of “Rick Perry really is gonna run” for a few legislators to plan a dip into the RDF. Governor Perry previously vowed to veto any further use of the RDF when he agreed to use around $3 billion to cover the shortfall in the current budget. He made it clear he’d veto use of any RDF money for the new budget. Today will be the first and last chance legislators will have to vote it down.” Don’t miss the rest of the article One Way Or Another.
Interesting to note it was Democrat Donna Howard who put forth the amendment to tap into the Rainy Day Fund. Does her name sound familiar? It should, she is the House Rep. that the Straus team helped in the runoff election against Republican Dan Neil. Dan Neil – The Next Steps
Despite garnering 79 votes to eliminate a provision that would automatically spend money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund in the future, State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) was unable to eliminate this reckless addition to SB2.
Here’s the play-by-play:
- Yesterday on 2nd Reading, Rep. Donna Howard proposed an amendment that would automatically spend RDF dollars in the future.
- Howard’s amendment was adopted without a record vote.
- Today on 3rd Reading, Rep. King attempted to strip the Howard amendment.
- Due to House rules that amendments added on 3rd reading must garner 2/3 support, Rep. King’s efforts failed despite a 79-65 vote.
While it does not seem that it is truly the will of the House to recklessly spend savings we don’t have yet (ie a 79 to 65 vote difference), Liberals, with the help of 17 Republicans, adeptly manipulated the process to ensure it’s inclusion.
According to the preliminary record, the 17 Republican representatives who voted to recklessly auto-spend the RDF were:
Fred Brown of Bryan
John Davis of Houston
Rob Eissler of The Woodlands
Mike Hamilton of Mauriceville
Rick Hardcastle of Vernon
Will Hartnett of Dallas
Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville
Susan King of Abilene
John Kuempel of Seguin
George Lavender of Texarkana
Dee Margo of El Paso
Lanham Lyne of Wichita Falls
Diane Patrick of Arlington
Alan Ritter of Nederland
Todd Smith of Bedford
Burt Solomons of Carrollton
Raul Torres of Corpus Christi
It is now up to the conference committee whether the provision remains in the bill or if they strip it out before it returns to both bodies for final approval. If still included in the final version of SB2, the bill still must pass by a 2/3 majority in order to maintain Rep. Howard’s amendment.
Finally, Governor Perry has been consistently clear that he would veto any budget provisions that use the Rainy Day Fund, and as Rep. Phil King pointed out on the House floor, “The Governor usually does what he says he’s going to do.”
Call for “Conservative Pushers”