Rep. Garnet Coleman Responds To Draft State Budget

State republican lawmakers have unveiled a draft budget that includes $13.7 Billion in cuts that will impact everything from education to Medicaid and the future of  state employees.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman released this statement in response:

 Sometime today, Chairman Pitts will file HB 1, the General Appropriations Bill.  That bill will showcase an ideology that is heavy on cuts, with zero dollars taken from the rainy day fund.  This is our starting point for the next 133 days.  How we choose to handle this budget will define us as lawmakers. 
A $27 billion shortfall is sure to affect all of 24 million Texans, and Democrats will push for the most honest, open, and accountable budget process the Texas Legislature has seen in decades.  Texans will soon see these budget cuts in the quality of their roads, their community colleges, their services for seniors and children, and their local hospitals.  Because of this, all Members must be informed as to how these cuts will affect their own constituents. 
Unfortunately, this is not a one-time problem; it’s a disturbing trend.  The majority has long been reluctant to speak plainly with Texans about the real challenges we face.  Tax dollars brought in by the tax swap scheme put into place by Governor Perry in 2006 will keep coming up short, just as they have over the past five years.  Recession or no recession, Texas now has a perpetual, built-in budget shortfall. 
The majority was also less than candid about the stimulus funds we used to plug a multi-billion budget hole two years ago.  Using simple and shallow rhetoric, they have now convinced many Texans that the budget shortfall can be solved easily and without real impact. However, over the next few weeks as educators, doctors, and business leaders make their way across the Capitol to speak on behalf of their students, patients, and businesses, the majority will be forced to answer why Texans must short our investment in the next generation and in the future Texas workforce. 
House Democrats will fight to see that Texas keeps its commitment to those essential functions of government upon which every Texan depends.

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