May 17, 2011
Contact: Peter Clark, Peter.Clark@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0532 (o), (512) 417-9262 (c)
Villarreal Responds to Comptroller's Updated Revenue Estimate
Austin - Today Comptroller Susan Combs updated her estimate of revenue available during the next budget cycle, projecting an additional $1.2 billion for general purpose spending and an additional $300 million for the Rainy Day Fund. During a discussion with Rep. Villarreal on the House floor today, Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts revealed that none of the $300 million in additional Rainy Day Fund money will be used in the next budget cycle and that more than half of the new $1.2 billion is already assumed in the proposed budget. Chairman Pitts also confirmed that the current House budget proposal is nearly $8 billion short of funding the current school finance system and the budget agreement on health and human services is nearly $5 billion short of the state's expected needs.
Following the announcement, Rep. Villarreal issued the following statement.
"I am pleased to hear that additional revenue will be available to help meet the state's needs. However, even with the new revenue, the proposed budget would crowd more children into classrooms, force universities to raise tuition, and decimate the health research universities that serve as economic engines. It would be a grave mistake to think the additional money is an excuse for Senators to give up on funding education or for Representatives to give up on passing the non-tax revenue bill scheduled for tomorrow. We are still far short of a budget that our schoolchildren deserve. With the Rainy Day Fund now growing even larger, it is appalling that the Legislature would rather slash support for our children's classrooms than use a dime of our savings account."