FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 10, 2011
Contact: Peter Clark, Phone: 512-463-0532 (o), Email: Peter.Clark@house.state.tx.us
Villarreal Says State Revenue Estimate Shows Republicans Put Children’s Schools and Future at Risk
Cites Budget Mismanagement for Creating Revenue Shortfall Larger than California’s
San Antonio - Following the state Comptroller's release of the Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) for 2012-2013, State Rep. Mike Villarreal expressed his concern about the revenue shortfall's impact on our children’s schools and our state’s ability to compete for quality jobs in the future.
“Generation after generation, Texans have contributed to building our road system, our public schools, our state universities and medical centers. Our generation may be the first to drop the torch handed to us by our forefathers because Austin Republicans have mismanaged our state finances and placed reckless far-right politics over responsible governance,” said Rep. Villarreal.
The Comptroller estimates that the state will have $72.2 billion available in 2012-2013 for general revenue, the portion of the budget that is controlled by the state and funded through state taxes and fees. According to state agencies' Legislative Agency Requests analyzed by budget experts at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, $99 billion in general revenue is needed to simply continue current public necessities, including educating the increased number of schoolchildren in the state. As a result, the state likely faces a revenue shortfall in 2012-2013 of at least $26.8 billion.
Rep. Villarreal stated, "Republicans have ignored the fact that over the last decade our population has grown three times faster than our state tax system. A fast-growing state the size of Texas requires investments in infrastructure and basic public necessities, but Republicans failed to take responsibility."
"As a result, Texas’ revenue shortfall is larger than California’s budget hole. Our children deserve better. Texas has always risen to the challenge of ensuring a brighter future for our children. It’s time we rise to that challenge again."
Texas' revenue shortfall is 27 percent of the state funded budget. California's shortfall is 19 percent for fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 according to data in the report "The 2011-2012 Budget: California's Fiscal Outlook" by the state's Legislative Analyst's Office.