Thursday, March 10, 2011
Perry now bending on possible use of rainy day fund
Just weeks ago, calls to Governor Rick Perry to use the states rainy day fund to help balance whats left of the states budget came with distinct "NOs" from the capitol. Now that may all be changing. Rep. Jim Pitts , chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, filed a bill that would use nearly $4.3 billion of rainy-day funds to erase a shortfall in the current two-year cycle, which ends Aug. 31.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said he favors tapping rainy-day money at least to fill the current budget’s hole — which he puts at just over $3 billion. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst stated that the Governors office "has not drawn a line in the sand" regarding using the funds, and is still willing to talk about it. This week the Texas Teachers Union let Governor Perry have for what they called the capitols back room, shady way of cutting teachers and school funds and then stating they had no hand in it.
Thousands of school teachers and other school district employees will lose their jobs as a result of the budget woes. Over 1,000 TDCJ employees have already lost their jobs, and more are on the chopping block as stated by the agency. I think if there was ever a time to use the rainy day fund, it would be now. As one post read under a story in the Houston Chronicle story regarding the use of the fund, "Governor Perry, It's raining." And we have to agree. Cutting teachers to make classes 22 students to 1 teacher is nuts. And taking TDCJ employee jobs that are essential to everyday business is not well thought out.
Maybe it's time for some casino gambling in Texas.