No other description can be made for this session, no matter how rosy various representatives and senators may try to paint things. They went into the session with the LARGEST REVENUE INCREASE EVER and promptly SPENT IT. The budget for Health and Human Services went up over 50% from last session 2 years ago. They padded a number of pork accounts, but left the basics of water and transportation to be addressed by taking money from the Economic Stabilization Fund (If you are having to take billions for an Economic Stabilization Fund during periods of record revenue, what the heck are you going to do when times are tough for government??). There had to work through most of two special sessions on an ‘emergency’ transportation need- that won’t even go to the voters until the next regular legislative session is completed. The delay in the constitutional amendment was done strictly for the political expediency of not letting the voters consider the size of the draws on the reserve at the same time; voters might recognize the fiscal insanity involved. The only fiscal non-loss (it can’t be called a ‘victory’) was stopping repeated attempts to expand Medicaid for millions more- based on the ‘promise’ the feds will pay for the first few years (that promise will rapidly dissolve in the nearly instantaneous fiscal insolvency that is Obamacare). If that had passed, Texas would have sunk fiscally into a California level quagmire.
How bad was this session? When the budget passed- with lots of votes that were the solid Democrat block with 30 so-called GOP members that DEFINED RINOs this session- the Democrats were high-fiving in the back, and Appropriations Chair Rep. Jim Pitts boasted about all the increased spending in a manner more resembling Harry Reid than any Republican legislator. One representative who is retiring in disgust from the House says the last session was run by the moderate Republicans; but this one was CLEARLY run by the Democrats from their 95-55 minority position.
Now that the final damage is done, the North Texas Tea Party will start assembling a list of key votes based on this nightmare. While our core conservatives routinely voted against this madness, too few big-spending Republicans stayed with their caucus to actually retain fiscal sanity. And it WILL reflect on the scoring. Time to replace a BUNCH of folks in Austin.