Lawmakers dealing with big surplus
The new session of the Texas Legislature starts today and state lawmakers have more money to play with than you might think.
According to Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas is projected to have a surplus of 8.8 billion dollars. The Association of Texas Professional Educators wants some of the money put back into schools after the 5.4 billion dollar cut of 2011. The average Houstonian speaking with Matt Patrick, though, doesn’t necessarily see it that way.
A caller to the 9-5-0 said, “I live in the Brenham Independent School District. The Brenham Cubs are a great football team. They play in a stadium that spent $985,000 on to put artificial turf on the field two years ago. Come on!”
Another Houstonian said, “I think we need to do away with some of the administration. Then we can afford things like school police and pay teachers more that way."
Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report tells KTRH that before the folks in Austin go spending all that money, they need to realize the surplus may not really be 8.8. Billion dollars.
“It’s a little bit misleading,” Kronberg said. “We still have a lot of hot checks left over from the last session. A good chunk of that money is going to go to cover bills for last session.”
Kronberg said the news of the surplus sounds good, but things aren’t what they appear to be.
“It’s difficult for folks not involved in the process to understand, but just because we have a surplus doesn’t mean it isn’t already spent,” Kronberg said.
Hear the podcast with Matt Patrick and Houston's Morning News as he talks with Will Newton, the Exec. Dir. of the Texas Chapter of the National Federation of the Independent Business: