The news of the day is that Governor Rick Perry, Comptroller Susan Combs, Speaker Joe Straus and Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts brokered a deal on using the Rainy Day fund to shore up the current budget cycle and to not use the Rainy Day Fund for the next budget cycle that covers 2012-2013.
Following the blessing of Perry, Combs, Straus and Pitts the House Appropriations Committee quickly convened and passed the agreed upon supplemental appropriations bill HB 275 out of committee 27-0.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has not made any public statements on this deal and did not publicly sign onto any of the press releases and public statements released today by the officials listed above. Dewhurst is mentioned in the statements, but it is never formally said that Dewhurst agrees with and supports tapping the rainy day fund for this years budge cycle and not using it for the next budget cycle.
The details taken from the groups PR of the deal that was brokered without Dewhurst’s signature are,
Gov. Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Comptroller Susan Combs today announced the decision to close out the Fiscal Year 2011 budget gap by implementing $800 million in cuts, using $300 million from increased sales tax collections over the last few months, and using a one-time draw not to exceed $3.2 billion from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund.
Why did the Lt. Governor not sign off on the deal? Does Dewhurst not want to use any of the Rainy Day Fund? This is very possible for numerous reasons, including that he is a potential candidate for the US Senate next year, or for Governor in 2014, and will have to face a crowded Republican field where everyone will be trying to out conservative each other.
Or does Dewhurst want to spend more of the rainy day fund to cover education, healthcare or other pressing state services?