Leaders blame ideology for failure to fix budget
By PEGGY FIKAC, AUSTIN BUREAU
"Lawmakers entered the 2011 legislative session facing a chronically under-performing business tax, a school finance system in need of a revamp and pointed questions about billions of dollars in tax exemptions while the state faced a massive budget shortfall.
"They could enter the 2013 session the same way, having failed to come to agreement on any of the three, potentially guaranteeing themselves a repeat of the budget woes that bedeviled the regular session's 140 days.
"Because of the ideological nature of this session, and because we have a bicameral Legislature, we didn't get a lot of the big reform ideas on the table and debated and resolved," said Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan. "And that's probably my biggest disappointment - that we basically kicked the can down the road in almost every area."
-Another landmark session for the Lege. The GOP supermajority has managed to achieve gridlock all on their own. The voters are getting what they asked for, I guess; this is the equivalent of what you could expect if you were to hire a demolition company to build your house. Though many Texans may not be mindful of the consequences of what the wrecking crew they elected has been up to, having been busy watching important sports games and reality shows; spending cuts in education, healthcare, nutrition assistance, nursing homes and mental health facilities will hit home in coming months. Hopefully next year the electorate will remember who brought us here and turn things around before the state gets to looking like a Mad Max movie.