My fellow Texans, more than half the legislative session is over, and I'm convinced we will have a final state budget that's funded within our available revenue, addresses our core priorities and does not raise taxes.
Here in Austin, there have been a variety of special interests speaking with a loud voice, many calling on lawmakers to forego tough decisions in favor of higher taxes. But it's the quiet voice of the common interests that I always listen to: the men and women who pay those taxes.
I know that families across Texas have seen property taxes rise and insurance costs increase while pensions decline with the stock market. You've figured out a way to live within your means. Why shouldn't government?
Some in the legislature are now looking for a quick fix. Borrow a little here. Empty this fund there. Move this shell over here in order to balance the budget and get out of town.
But to delay tough decisions only delays the consequences.
It's just like building up the balances on a credit card when you know you don't have the income to afford it. Yes, you may get lucky and get a pay raise or even hit the lottery.
But chances are you'll hit the borrowing limit and then your problems will only be compounded - with interest.
Betting the economy will pick up to solve our budget challenges rather than making the hard decisions needed is a recipe for an eventual tax hike.
Proposals to cash-in our state's tobacco funds or to empty the Rainy Day Fund for ongoing expenses or to defer large payments to the next budget cycle may sound attractive now, but they won't be when the bill comes later.
This session, many legislators have been committed to doing the hard work: examining the budget from zero. Now is not the time to back away from that approach. It's all about establishing priorities just as millions of Texas families do.
Short-term thinking always yields one thing: short-term results. Fiscal discipline remains the best course for our future.