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April 27, 2011     Hays Free Press
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April 27, 2011
 

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.t ILglllUIl Hays Free Press April 27, 2011 OMNmN Page 5A Senate panel OKs state .dget proposal. enate Bill 1, a $175 billion version of the 2012-13 state budget, was approved on April 21 by the Senate Finance Commit- tee before both houses of the Texas Legislature recessed for Easter break. In simple contrast to the $164 billion state budget the House approved on April 1, the Senate Finance Committee&apos;s version would spend billions of dollars more on public education and health care. SB 1 dredges for non-tax revenue and employs accounting shifts that make $5 billion more available in addition to an infu- sion of about $3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund. Although the Senate Finance Committee's proposal seems opulent next to the House's $164 billion proposal, both plans give the state far less to run on than the 2010-11 current state budget of $182 billion. A current revenue shortfall caused the Legislature this spring to obligate a portion of the state's Rainy Day Fund. With reservations, Gov. Rick Perry allowed it, but said he would not let the House or Senate tap the fund to shore up the 2012-13 state budget. So conflict lies ahead with the proposed SB 1 taking another $3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund. E Scott McCown, executive director of the non-partisan Austin think-tank Center for Public Policy Priorities said, "No one should pretend that the Senate budget meets the needs of Texas. And no one should pretend that the Senate budget is the best choice in a tough economy. The Legisla- ture has better choices." Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Ha- no, chair of the Senate Educa- tion Committee, has a bill that would manage SB l's $4 billion in education cuts. "No single school district takes such a drastic cut that their operations would be irreparably harmed," Shapiro said. A floor debate on SB 1 is expected this week. If the full Senate passes SB 1, it will move to the House for consideration. To help balance future state budgets, the Legislature must find a wayto cure the state's structural revenue deficit that comes from property tax relief enacted in 2005 and the underperforming business margins tax that was created to compensate for the property tax relief, on top of a multi- year economic slowdown. Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, : CITAL said if the structural deficit isn't dealt with, the state could be $8 billion short on education funding in the 2014-15 bien- nium. Meanwhile, the House set 5 p.m. April 25 as the deadline for members to submit proposed amendments for something just as pressing as the state budget: the redistricting bill, scheduled for floor debate on Wednesday, April 27. 11 GElS IUl10N DiXIJ The U.S. Department of Education last week approved Texas' application for $830 mil- lion in federal funding for Texas schools. These funds had been stalled inWashington for the past nine months as a result of an amendment to the federal education jobs bill by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Dogger forcing Gov. Perry to dedicate the funds to education alone. Congress recently passed a budget bill that included a re- peal of Doggett's amendment. DROUGHT PROMPTS PRAYER Texas' drought is shaping up to rival Dust Bowl-like condi- tions of the 1930s. Related wildfires that now plague the state make it even worse. In light of such conditions, Gov. Perry proclaimed the ree-day period from Friday, April 22, to Sunday, April 24 as "Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas." "I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our com- munities and the restoration of our normal way of life," Perry's proclamation stated. DATA EXPOSURE FIX CONTINUES In mid-April, State Comp- troller Combs announced that the personal data of 3.5 mil- lion current and former state employees had been exposed via a portal on her agency's public Internet site. On April 20 she announced another follow-up measure. Combs said a private company, CSIdentity Protec- tor, is offering one year of fraud-related assistance for $29.95 to affected individuals. The service includes credit monitoring, Social Security number protection, Intemet CHISPA Former Hays commissioner deems capital improvements un-Christian Former Pct. 2 Commissioner Susie Carter tore into County Judge Bert Cobb, a fellow Republican, in a scathing letter sent to the judge and submitted to the commissioners court record last week. "As a conservative candidate, you campaigned on a platform of stop- ping the SPENDING. As a Chris- tian, your are (sic) also charged with telling the truth. However, your unwillingness to hold Prompt Public hearings to even discuss the SPENDING UPON WHICH YOU AND THE COMM. COURT ARE PROCEEDING AS IF YOU ARE ]EFF BARTON shows that you were apparently not sincere in your campaign and your witness," Carter wrote in the e-mail which she also sent to state Attorney General Gregg Abbott. Carter, a Uhland area resident, is appar- ently upset at the court's ongoing capital improvement programs including a $207 mil- lion package of road improvements approved by voters in 2008. She specifically singled out a widening of the Old Bastrop Highway in the CARTER San Marcos area and the county's exploration of making a bid to buy the Lower Colorado River Author- ity's West Travis CountyWater System, which serves more than 10,000 residents in high-growth northern Hays County. "It is imperative that you stop the spending on such unnecessary boondoggle projects like Old Bastmp Highway by pulling the agenda item for ROW now- and do not commit the whole county to correct the poor judgement of LCRA by causing the county to pay for the water line that could in- stead be bought by the City of Dripping Springs or the people in the area that is served," said Carter, a leader of a group calling itself the Hays County Citizens' Budget Project. The group's frontman, Sam Brannon, has called for a moratorium on all capital im- provement projects including the widening of FM 1626 between FM 2770 and the Travis County line and the realignment of FM 150 E in Kyle to access the Center Street interstate overpass. EDITOR'S NOTE In keeping with our elections policy regarding letters to the editor, the last issue for letters addressing the May 14th election will be the May 3rd edition. surveillance and $10,000 of identity theft insurance and other services. EMPLOYMENT INCREASES IN MARCH Texas' total nonfarm employ- ment increased by 37,200 jobs in March, making the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month 8.1 percent, down from 8.2 percent in February. The U.S. unemployment rate for March stood at 8.8 percent. Ed Sterling works for the Texas Press Association and follows the Legislature for the association. edsterling@texaspress.com LAW 0FFICE OF iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiii00ii00i00i0000ii00i!i00iii00iii00iiii000000ii00000000i00i00i00i00i00ii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii00ii!iiiii00iiiiiiiii! ( __----44 PLLC :i ii ii i Family Iw Mediator. Collaborative gavAttorney ilii i i   i i (512) 312-O90 iliii 906 CanyonWren Drive B.aa, Texa, i'i',ii',::iiiii:i!iIN@iNNiiiNNi i'!ii! i]!ii!iiii!i: ii!iiiiiiii! iiiiiiiiN! iiiiiii::i::i:{ www.yourtexasattorney, corn Tezas High.Speed ..,olNTERNET .,,,,, $34.95/00o i Up to 100 times faster than dialp, sale - n t i Arays connected, no login needed, s e .con, , Unlimited hours per month. vAv, ;'v n r <,;in No phone line required. Not by weather. 512-524-6363 00llie';G , hou: .reen, 5e ' 6" Geraniums NOW $199 SPRING . Beautiful Bedding Plants . Blooming Hanging Baskets SALES! 5013 Airport Hwy 21, Maxwell 78656 512-392-0507 o Structural Framing o Hoofing & Cornice o Window/Door/Siding o Conventional Framing Replacement o ICF Framing o Painting o General Remodeling o Guest Suites o Room Additions o 0utdoor Hying Room Conversions o Pools and Decks o Detached Garages w/ o Arbors and Cabanas optional Apartment o Patio Covers o Kitchen & Bathrooms o Storage Sheds 512.312.4499 - www.haciendabuild.com LETTER TO THE EDITOR STRONGEST OF ALL One of the regrets I have about leaving the Council in March of 2007 was that I would not have the opportunity to work with David Wilson. David ran my 2006 re-election campaign. He was and still is a tireless worker. We ran against a very strong and class candidate in Michelle Lopez. David kept the 6ampaign energized, honest, with integrity and most of all on budget. I com- mended David for his efforts but came to realize this was not an effort for him. This was David being David in his personal, business and now political life. The City of Kyle needs this type of person in a leadership role. David will meet and work with anyone, and once again he will do it tirelessly. Has David voted to spend money for Kyle? Yes he has. He has supported the new library, the public works building, along with numer- ous public projects that have improved the water and sewer. He has also been involved with TxDot projects that continues to upgrade and add new roadways for our growing town. All of these projects were supported by the majority of citizens and none can be considered frivolous. David is aVeteran. Like many of our veterans he lives his life quietly but with a purpose. He wants to help our town and our citizens. He is qualified to hold higher offices but his passion is serving locally. Though I cannot vote for David since he is not running for the district I personally live in, I urge the citizens that live in his district to do their part. Do the research on the candidates. It will not take long to realize that David Wilson is the most qualified and most respected choice. I give my sup- port to David for all he has done, and with your vote, will continue to do. Mike Moore Kyle RESPONSE TO RICH PAYNE Mr. Payne's remarks regarding Congressman Doggett are not only incorrect, but delusional as well. Let's be clear abGut the facts - Congressman Doggett authored an amendment, "Save Our Schools," with strings at- tached to Federal funds hoping to ensure that our governor could not misuse funds ear- marked for our children as he did in 2009. Congressman Dog- gett has consistently shown his commitment to education in his over 20 years in public service and continues to stand for public education and our chil- dren. In addition, many of our residents and taxpayers expect that public education receive a.dequate funding. Congress- man Doggett has never "denied" funding to public education, in fact, it is "our governor" and this Republican majority house that denies us and our children the quality public education they deserve. I am proud and honored to stand with Congress- man Doggett declaring "NO! BASTAI, we will not sacrifice our children's education." Our community will not stand for budget cuts in education that could potentially cram students into crowded classrooms and cost over 96,000 school employ- ees across the State of Texas to lose their jobs. These cuts will gut our schools and harm our children's future. Hays Educators and our col- leagues from Dripping Springs, San Marcos and Del Valle have sent a clear message to our legislators that we will no longer tolerate their turning a blind eye to public education. If they value their positions, they will make providing a quality education for all of our children a priority, iSf se puedeI Esperanza Orosco Hays Educators Association TSTA President Kfle C] OF 2011 KEEPSAKE G]?,A 2,UATION EDITION DISTRIBUTED MAY 25 FOR JACK C. HAYS, LEHMAN & LIVE OAKACADEMY HIGH SCHOOLS This special edition will indude class favorites, baby photos, dass songs and much more. Ad deadline is May 6, so don't delay. Send in your photos and message today! FARMER00 Debbie Thames Insurance Agency AUTO HOME LIFE BOAT HEALTH 251 N. FM 1626 #2C Buda, TX 78610 Office: (512) 312-1917 Fax: 312-0688 Email: dvthames @ austin xr.com Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm Your Business & Referrals Are Appreciated To learn more, go to www.pec.coop and type "dig tess" in the search window. >\>  POWER OF COMMUNITY PEDERNAI.ES EI.ECTRIC COOPERATIVE + + ,I