By Patricia Kilday Hart
The debate over the state budget boils down to this: How do you define “essential” government programs?
Is it essential that someone at Child Protective Services answers the phone when you want to report your neighbor's child is being abused? Should we train new doctors? Is it necessary to maintain a network of nursing homes to care for elderly Texans?
If you answered “no” to all of the above, then you are in agreement with a coalition of conservative groups who maintain that the Legislature should keep its hands off the state's rainy day fund.
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