Check out “Texas Forward”

Posted in Around The State, Good Stuff at 5:21 pm by wcnews

Check out this new group, Texas Forward. The group’s membership is full of the good groups that are always trying to help working Texans and their families. Here’s what they believe:

  • A truly balanced budget adequately funds today’s needed public services and preparesTexas for future demands caused by changing demographics, technology, and economic competition.
  • A truly balanced budget is supported by taxes that are imposed equitably on families of different income levels and businesses in different sectors.
  • Revenue to fund a truly balanced budget is generated from sources that will grow along with the growth in need for public services.
  • Shuffling money among under-funded programs and shifting the cost of public services off the state budget conceal the true need for more state resources.
  • A truly balanced budget is developed in an open and transparent process.

Here’s their agenda:

Texas faces both a short-term and a long-term budget deficit. These deficits have different causes and therefore have different solutions.

The longer-term deficit is a result of the unfunded property tax cuts passed in 2006 and the overall structure of Texas’ revenue system. The lack of sufficient new revenue to replace foregone property taxes has created a continuing budget hole of at least $9 billion a biennium. Structural changes in Texas’ revenue system will be required to eliminate this structural deficit.

The immediate deficit facing the 2011 legislative session is caused by the global economic recession, which has temporarily reduced state revenue. This short-term deficit can be closed with one-time measures.

Texas Forward therefore adopts the following agenda for the 2011 legislative session:

Vital public services in Texas are not funded to meet today’s needs or to prepare Texas for future demands. Therefore, before reducing any state services in fiscal year 2011 or in the 2012-13 state budget, the Legislature must:

  1. Use all of the Rainy Day Fund, estimated to have $9.2 billion available for spending in the 2012-13 budget. The constitutional purpose of the fund is to maintain vital state services during economic downturns; it is not a solution to a long-term structural deficit.
  2. Maximize use of all available federal funding, including any additional stimulus aid or any new matching funds made available by health care reform.
  3. Create new sources of revenue that are equitable and can grow along with the growth in need for public services, including elimination of unproductive tax breaks.

In addition, in 2011 the Legislature should examine the structural changes needed to address the long-term structural deficit, in preparation for the 2013 session.

Click this link to get involved.

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