Gov. Rick Perry announced the Texas Budget Compact, composed of five key principles for a stronger Texas. The governor called on lawmakers to commit to these principles in preparation for the 2013 legislative session and going forward, urging the continued importance of carefully stewarding Texas taxpayer dollars, especially as Medicaid puts increasing pressure on our state budget.
"The priorities set and decisions made in 2011 helped stabilize our economy and kept industries hiring in the Lone Star State like nowhere else in the country," Gov. Perry said. "It is imperative we remain committed to the sound conservative values that have brought us to where we are today. If Texas leaders will commit to govern and budget by the five principles of the Texas Budget Compact, we will ensure continued growth and prosperity, an honest budget, and more limited government."
"Texas continues to face serious budget concerns that can only be addressed by significant fiscal reform," Sen. Patrick said. "I am proud to continue my support for these initiatives and be among the first to endorse this compact."
Gov. Perry is pledging his commitment to the following principles, and asking lawmakers to do the same:
* Practice Truth in Budgeting
* Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population and inflation
* Oppose any new taxes or tax increases, and make the small business tax exemption permanent
* Preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund
* Cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies
Committing to these principles now is imperative as we address budget challenges in the 2013 session, specifically with respect to Medicaid, which already consumes a massive amount of our budget and is primed to eat up significantly more in both the short and long terms, especially if the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare.
Additionally, in order for Texas to continue leading the nation in job creation and economic development we must rein in state spending and make the small business tax permanent. Texas' economy continues to rank number one in the nation for job growth and business climate. Our state has added more new jobs over the past year than anywhere else in the country, and the employment rate continues to decline, and is more than a full point below the national average. Additionally, state sales tax collections have posted steady gains over the past two years.