AFP: Special Session Wrap Up (Peggy Venable)
AFP Newsletter----- Original Message -----From: Peggy VenableTo: Ingrid ForrestSent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 3:14 PMSubject: Special Session Wrap Up
Texas Capitol Update for the
week ending July 1, 2011
News and Views from Americans for Prosperity-Texas
The good: During the 140-day regular session, the legislature passed a balanced budget that doesn't raise taxes and preserves billions unspent in our Rainy Day Fund. The decisions made were difficult, but lawmakers did what families all across Texas have done: tightened their belts and planned to spend only available revenues.
passed redistricting plans for all but Congressional districts – albeit some will be challenged in court, hopefully successfully;
passed measures for loser pays lawsuit reform to further strengthen our tort reforms and continue to add jobs in Texas;
passed voter ID requiring voters to present photo ID at polling places; and
strengthened private property rights, among other measures.
We wanted all areas of the budget "on the table" for budget cuts and applaud the legislature for trimming back at the growth of public education funding which has increased at five times the growth in student population.
The unfinished business that required the called session were measures to fund the budget and school finance.
Click here to read the full capitol update & Stay tuned for AFP's Legislative Report Card!
Medicaid spending must be controlled, and this week Texas legislators took a bold step to stop the hemorrhaging. Texas has become the second state to demand the freedom to control its own Medicaid program on the heels of Washington State's action in May. Senate Bill 7, the omnibus health-care reform bill passed during special session, contains a provision for a Medicaid block grant request-similar to the reforms proposed for all 50 states by US Congressman Paul Ryan in his budget plan.
We enthusiastically support the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" framework for debt-ceiling negotiations and are committed to opposing any deal that fails to follow it: substantially cutting spending immediately, capping it going forward, and adopting a balanced-budget amendment with strict tax and spending limitations. But for the cuts to go beyond a blip on the otherwise relentlessly upward march of government spending (or worse, amount to accounting gimmicks), they must be based on specific, structural, permanent reforms to grow the economy while lowering the trajectory of federal spending.
Moreover, without those reforms, caps will prove unenforceable when they get overwhelmed by entitlement promises, or when the political pendulum swings back toward tax-and-spenders.
Take action: Sign our Cut, Cap & Balance Pledge!
Students, taxpayers and employers SHOULD come first in higher education. While tuition rates have skyrocketed 70% since 2003 in Texas and student loan debt has reached an all-time high, Gov. Perry has recommended some reforms which would make colleges more accessible and affordable. Some universities are resisting, claiming they are already efficient and affordable. We taxpayers don't agree.
Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Speaker Straus have named an oversight committee. The Senate has confirmed the Governor's appointees to the boards of regents, and we are concerned that the Committee's senior member, Senate Higher Education Chairman Judith Zaffirini, has publicly said she doesn't agree with the concept of reform and has said she will drag this out beyond the terms of the Governor and the regents. This is not acceptable.
To learn more about this issue,click "like" on Rock the Ivory Tower facebook fan page.
Also check out our Rock the Ivory Tower videos on YouTube!
"Is college worth it?" is a program slated for tonight on John Stossel on Fox Business. A preview of the show is here.
While we support higher education reform which improves transparency, access and affordability, we at AFP are not questioning the value of college. We simply want to make sure our tax dollars are wisely spent. Some issues on the Stossel program reinforce the need for reforms. I believe the program will point out how rapidly tuition is increasing. We have discussed that along with mounting student loan debt. While the Stossel program will be of interest to taxpayers, we at AFP are not suggesting that a college degree is not of value.
Mark your calendar:
Join us as we celebrate Milton Friedman's 99th Birthday with a speaker on free market solutions to education, drinks, appetizers and networking with other conservative bloggers/tweeters.
Please email Eliza Vielma at Eliza@... to RSVP for this event.
Or Click here to RSVP on our Facebook Event.
Defending the American Dream Summit – Nov. 3-5 in Washington, D.C.
AFP Foundation's 5th annual Defending the American Dream Summit will be held November 3-5, 2011 at the DC Convention Center in Washington, DC. Click Here for more details.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individualâ€™s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 1.7 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFP has 31 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.
For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
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