The Texas Legislature has adjourned. Sine die (translated literally "without day" in Latin) has officially arrived at the Capitol.
While the session was far from perfect, there were many positive accomplishments, especially for Texans who are concerned about fiscal responsibility. Let's look at a few pieces of extremely good tax and budget news to emerge out of Texas' 81st legislative session:
1. The 2010-11 biennial state budget will see less than 1 percent growth in general revenue spending. In this age of ballooning government spending, that limited growth rate is refreshing to see.
2. The Texas budget is balanced. Dozens of states around the country, meanwhile, are grappling with multi-billion dollar budget deficits.
3. Texas' Rainy Day fund remains intact, with more than 9 billion dollars set aside for future needs. Many states have no rainy day fund, let alone such a robust balance.
4. Tens of thousands of small businesses will see a tax cut. You can count the number of states that are cutting taxes not on one hand but on just about one finger.
The list of positives extends well beyond budgetary matters. The Governor's ambitious border security agenda will receive a boost, there will be important new investment in education, and Texans will now have a chance to vote eminent domain protections into the state constitution.
Texas is ranked number one in the nation in many key economic areas, including the #1 exporting state, the #1 ranked business climate, and the #1 location for Fortune 500 companies, according to Americans for Prosperity.
The word is getting out.
Indeed, U.S. Representative Todd Tiahrt of Kansas offers this gem in an op-ed in the Wichita Eagle:
One displaced Kansan trying to develop property in the San Diego area recently told me that every time Texas Gov. Rick Perry flies to town he takes another half a dozen businesses with him to Texas. With a more friendly business climate, Texas is at the top of the game in growth rates for corporate headquarters.
Gov. Perry made this statement earlier today regarding Memorial Day. Gov. Perry is pictured with World War II veteran Wally Bludworth, who recently received a Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.
"On this Memorial Day, we are compelled to pause and consider the enormous sacrifice made by generations of American servicemen and women, who have gone in harm’s way in defense of the freedoms we too often take for granted. From the first shots of the Revolutionary War to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our brave men and women have risked much on our behalf throughout the course of our nation’s history.
Monday, Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck invited Jonathan Williams of the non-partisan American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC.org) on his show to discuss the concept of federal bailouts for states. They both had great things to say about Governor Perry's leadership in Texas.
Watch for yourself:
If you can't watch the video, you can read the transcript here. Below the fold are a few snippets from the interview (click "Read more" to expand this post):
Monday, Governor Perry sat down for lunch at Iron Works in Austin with the winners of the Perry BBQ Tour. These were the individuals who best utilized their email lists and social media networks to spread the word and get out the vote for Republican candidates across Texas last Fall.
The prize for the winners was lunch with the Governor during the legislative session.
For more photos from the BBQ lunch, check out Governor Rick Perry's Flickr page. Stay tuned for more ways to get engaged and make a difference-- and maybe even win a chance to hang out with the Governor along the way!
Across the nation, unemployment is sky-high, the housing market is sucking wind and recessionary fears have frozen Americans in place.
Just don’t tell that to a stream of new residents who are "voting with their feet" that Texas is the safest place to ride out the storm and the place to be when the economy recovers.
Even in the midst of a recession, economists, demographers and relocation experts believe the Lone Star State is on the cusp of becoming The New California.
Or maybe it already is.
Indeed, California is a beautiful state with incredible resources, enviable weather, lots of modern airports, and a prime location on the coast, but its unemployment rate is almost twice Texas' rate. California's current budget deficit is somewhere North of 40 billion dollars, while Texas has a balanced budget. California is also losing citizens en masse to domestic outmigration, while Texas is attracting several thousand individuals from other states every week. As the FWSTarticle explains, "If you had to ride out this downturn, there is no better place than Texas. The declines here have been nothing compared to other states."
While Texas is by no means immune to national and global recessionary pressures, its resilience is a testament to the state's unflagging promotion of commonsense free market policies and tort reform over the past several years. As Governor Perry often says, "Texas is open for business, so come on down." Read the entire FWST article for yourself. It is truly a must-read.
Thursday night, Governors Rick Perry and Mark Sanford participated with tens of thousands of their fellow patriots in a constructive conference call focused on taking back America. If you were unable to sign up for the call, take a moment to listen to these short .mp3 clips.
In this clip, Governor Perry responds to concerns from a participant that it has gotten difficult to distinguish between Republicans and Democrats, asserting in response that the answers will come from the grassroots, not Washington:
In this clip, Governor Perry speaks about his respect for the TEA party activists, noting “I don’t think there is anything more important than having this movement succeed”:
In this final clip, the Governor notes that if we advocate for proven conservative ideas, we can turn the tide and restore the principles that made our country great:
If you would like to send a message to Washington and stay informed in real-time about future events such as the call on Thursday evening, please text FED UP to 95613.
Thursday, May 14, at 7:30 PM Central Time, Governors Rick Perry of Texas and Mark Sanford of South Carolina are participating in an important Fight for Freedom tele-townhall, and you are invited to join in!
Sign up at http://thegopcomeback.com now, and you will be invited to participate in this special tele-townhall Thursday night! There will not be a dial-in number to join the call-- you must sign up in advance to receive your call at 7:30 Thursday night, so sign up now to secure your place for what some have dubbed "Tea Party 2.0."
Governor Perry took a little time away from the legislative session in Austin last Thursday to raise about $100,000 for the United Negro College Fund in Houston. Check out this video of Governor Perry from the event: