Gov. Rick Perry spent Wednesday afternoon highlighting his Budget Compact, a five-point pledge he first introduced in the spring that several Republican lawmakers have since signed.
For the coming session, Perry says the compact will mean more transparency and accountability when drafting the budget. Despite higher sales tax projections, he's not talking surplus.
“I want to specifically focus on the need for truth in budgeting," Perry said. "Particularly when you think of that constitutional amendment that will put a spending cap on the rate of spending that can occur, tied to inflation and population growth.”
Brian Smith teaches political science at St. Edward’s University. He said talking budget is an efficient way for the governor to ease back into the spotlight.
“He’s got to try to reestablish himself, and it’s easy to run on economic issues in Texas because our economy isn’t as bad as it is in the rest of the nation,” Smith said. “It gets him back in the spotlight and also it means that he’s throwing out a lot of issues, talking about cutting spending. Things like that are easier said than done, and so in that sense it’s a win-win.”
The Texas Democratic House Caucus issued a statement on the compact, saying:
"These policies are nothing more than another tool to undercut funding for an already struggling public schooling system, women’s health care and agencies that have repeatedly seen their budgets dwindle from year to year, tying legislators' hands via constrictive fiscal policies should not and cannot be a consideration."
Thursday, the group Children At Risk will speak to lawmakers at the Capitol to outline how the cuts to education from the last legislative session have impacted Texas' children.