Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Outlines Budget Reform Measures

Governor wants stronger spending limit, end to accounting gimmicks

Wednesday, January 31, 2007  •  Press Release

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today outlined budgetary reform measures to promote fiscal responsibility and transparency in state government. The governor also stressed the need for a stronger state spending limit and wants to “true-up” the budget by paying for past delayed payments and ending accounting gimmicks.

“This session I am proposing a truth-in-spending measure that ends the accounting gimmicks, stops the funding diversions and that lets state government get right with the people,” Perry said. “Texans deserve a budget that makes sense, that’s accessible to the average person, straightforward on priorities, and responsible in size.”

Reform measures proposed by Gov. Perry include:

  • A truth in spending initiative that ends accounting gimmicks such as delayed payments and requires dedicated funds to be used as intended, or refunded to taxpayers.
  • Imposing a stronger spending limit on state government.
  • Requiring detailed budget line items instead of lump sum line items.
  • Requiring all state agencies to publish expenditures online in a clear and consistent format.

With a record budget surplus, Gov. Perry believes now is the time to make one-time payments to reconcile past accounting maneuvers and accurately balance the budget.

“Now is the time to true-up the Texas budget, pay for our property tax cut and then move forward with a real, meaningful spending cap,” Perry said. “I’m not trying to cast blame for past practices; I’m trying to wipe the slate clean going forward. If we don’t end these budget gimmicks now while we have a record surplus, it will never happen.”

“The spending limit we have today is not really a limit. What I will propose will be more closely aligned to population growth and inflation, allowing room for key investments with a strong check against excess spending.”

Additionally, in an effort to further promote transparency and accountability, expenditures made by the governor’s office will be available to view online beginning today.

“Transparency is the cornerstone of public trust,” Perry said. “If taxpayers are picking up the bill, they ought to be able to look at the receipt.”

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