LegeLand: Reinventing the Budget Wheel

Watson takes aim at roots of budget mess

Austin's Kirk Watson has continued to push his "honesty agenda" in the state Senate, filing 14 bills last week that he says will open up the budgeting process at the Lege and end what he calls the "debt, diversions, and deceptions" that led Texas into its current budget mess. Senate Bills 695-708 would, among other things, require that money intended for specific purposes not be diverted to fill other budget holes; require that more raw budget data be posted online; require the state to report what it collects in fees (aka "stealth taxes"), along with whether those fees were increased and whether they got diverted to other parts of the budget; require state agencies to report the impact of refusing to accept federal money; and end unfunded mandates on cities, counties, and school districts. Watson said the bills were necessary to deter budget writers who "used savings and one-time federal stimulus money to balance the current budget" and "are also likely to rely on savings and one-time accounting gimmicks to balance the next one."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More redistricting
So You Want to Redistrict Austin?
So You Want to Redistrict Austin?
The process – and what’s at stake – with redrawing our City Council districts

Lilli Hime, Sept. 18, 2020

Redistricting Maps Head to House
Redistricting Maps Head to House
New maps likely to draw court challenges

Richard Whittaker, June 21, 2013

More by Lee Nichols
Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015

Beer Flights
Beer Flights
Celis: welcome home

Aug. 17, 2012


redistricting, Legislature, U.S. Census Bureau

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle