The vote took under 20 minutes, without any debate among members, and resulted in 18-7 in favor. The (Texas) House budget proposes reductions in two major areas: public education funding by $8.8 billion and health care by $16 billion. For the 2010-11 biennium, public education received $50 billion and health care received $65 billion.
Appropriations committee chairman and author of the bill Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said budget writers tried to minimize cuts, but they were inevitable because education and health care comprise a large portion of the budget.
Former House member and LBJ School (UT Austin) lecturer Sherri Greenberg said the cuts of both areas are so high because they make up more than half of the budget combined.
“If the desire of the leadership is to have a bill with no new revenue, you need to [cut] where the big dollars are,“ Greenberg said. “Forty percent of that is public education and another 30 percent is health and human services, and a bulk of that is Medicaid. That’s the math.“
If I did my math right, we are reducing education funding from 50 Billion to 41.2B. The author of the bill, Rep Jim Pitts, Republican-Waxahachie describes it as “the right thing to do for our economy and for the people of Texas.”
I was going to get a pull-quote from little Johnny, but apparently he still can’t read.