Rainy day fund

Road to Nowhere

Oct 11, 2013 By Paul Burka

Oil money’s nice, but actually funding our infrastructure needs is even better.

Dewhurst wants to use the Rainy Day fund for water, highways

Dec 3, 2012 By Paul Burka

Well, good for him. The proposal is to use $1 billion from the fund for water projects and for highways. A billion doesn’t buy you what it used to, but it’s a start. Dewhurst also proposed setting up a bank for water and transportation projects. I think he and Craddick…

Ogden: State has $1.8 billion surplus

Oct 5, 2011 By Paul Burka

This is what he told me in a conversation we had earlier today. The reason is higher-than-expected sales tax receipts and a similar bonanza of oil and gas money for the Rainy Day Fund, above the comptroller’s estimate. Due to the increased revenue, Ogden said, there will be fewer layoffs…

R.G.’s Take: The Nanny State of Texas

May 24, 2011 By R.G. Ratcliffe

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a faraway land called Pennsylvania, a woman named Sarah Palin brought 200 protest cookies to school for children at the Plumstead Christian School - because she had read a report – mistaken as it turns out – that the state was going to ban such sweets from public school parties. Sarah mocked the policy as a “nanny state run amok.” She was there to fight for the freedom of sweet treats. “Who should be making the decisions on what you eat … in school, choices: Should it be government or should it be the parents?” Sarah asked her crowd. “It should be the parents.” Oh, no, said I, if this is true, then Texas has three of the biggest nannies in the land: Susan Combs, Todd Staples and Rick Perry. And the Legislature has been nannying up a storm as of late, seeking to impose government dictates on its citizens for their own good. Let’s start at the beginning, when government was wise, children were wonderful and we all wanted what was best for our future generations.

Sunny skies ahead

Apr 21, 2011 By Paul Burka

From Bloomberg: Texas’s reserve fund may climb to 28 percent more than officially forecast by 2013 as energy prices rally, a gain that might help the second-most populous state avoid some spending cuts, a key senator said. The fund, fed by energy taxes and forecast by the state comptroller to reach $9.4 billion by the end of August 2013, may gain much more by then, Senate Finance Committee chairman Steve Ogden, a Bryan Republican, said yesterday. “That fund could easily rise to $12 billion,” Ogden said at a committee hearing. He based his estimate on revenue increases from taxes on oil and natural-gas production in the state as energy prices climb.... * * * * I reported something similar earlier this month (See "Oil's Well that Ends Well," posted April 14.)  Sales tax receipts are up over the previous year, and the rig count is up by 26% to 30%, depending upon which reporting service you prefer. The sales tax numbers are particularly encouraging:

RedState.com to Texas Republicans: “Grow a spine”

Mar 17, 2011 By Paul Burka

Melissa Clouthier's Wednesday post on the widely read conservative blog took Rick Perry and Texas Republicans to task for being soft on budget cuts and the use of the Rainy Day Fund: Texas enjoys a super-majority Republican status. As a friend pointed out to me, if Texas Republicans wanted to wholesale rewrite the Texas constitution with nary a Democrat involved, they could do it. And yet, Texas Republicans facing a budget shortfall are turning into collective addled mush. Tough decisions need to be made to balance the budget. The Republicans don’t want to make them, which leads to Republican governor Rick Perry reversing himself on the use of the Rainy Day Fund, Texas Governor Rick Perry admitted on Tuesday [March 15] that the state will have to use about a third of its rainy day fund to close a budget deficit this year, abandoning his stance that the fund should not be used. It is not every day that I get a chance to defend Rick Perry, so I had better take advantage of the opportunity. What Clouthier and RedState fail to understand is that under Texas's pay-as-you-go system, the state must balance its accounts by the end of the fiscal year on August 31.