Gaah, need to rant about the Texas government’s current shenanigans :
Here’s some good links:
*So, like most states, Texas has a big budget shortfall – forecasted to be 15 to 27 billion dollars over the next two years.
*Also like most states, Texas has a rainy day fund, currently totalling 9.4 billion, to help pay off budget shortfalls in bad times like the current recession.
*For reasons best known to himself, Gov. Perry continues to insist the rainy day fund is off-limits.
*Non-wholly incompetent lawmakers point out that this kind of situation is exactly what the rainy day fund is for, and that using part of the funds could help save a few billion dollars so social services wouldn’t have to be cut so drastically.
*Huge cuts in education, public health, and food stamps are being proposed. Because how could helping kids go to college or helping families buy food possibly benefit the state or the economy?
*Perry declares it an emergency item to pass voter ID legislation, when voter fraud is a) a minor issue b) mostly committed through mail-ins anyway and c) voter ID laws disproportionately affect the poor (and thus also black people and Latin@s), students, and the elderly. Guess which one of those three groups regularly votes Republican. Now guess which one of them gets an exemption from the voter ID law. Yeah.
*Other emergency legislation: forcing women to look at ultrasounds and listen to the fetus’s heartbeat before they get abortions, as well as requiring them to go through a 24-hour waiting period, because women are fickle, flightly creatures; a federal balanced budget amendment (yeah, the stimulus money Perry hates so much that the federal government gave to the states is one of the reasons Texas isn’t even more in the shit); eminent domain reform (one of the only halfway decent things the legislature wants to do, but not really emergency material); and reform of ‘sanctuary cities’ that don’t require police to check the immigration papers of people who are arrested.
Lisa Falkenberg has a nice takedown in the Houston Chronicle.