Friday, May 06, 2011

Billions for Roads but Not One Cent for Education

Just when you think that the Texas Legislature has gone completely off its rocker in cutting health and education budgets, injuring education for the next generation and throwing grandma and grandpa out of their nursing home, just when you think that, they do you one better.

They increase funding for road building. Yeah, that’s right, while Johnny can’t read, construction companies are going to get a boon, a $3.6 billion increase over their allotment in the previous budget.

They say it will help the economy because it will spur economic development. Yeah, like spurring the rise in unemployment as 80,000 teachers get their pink slips.

Now it’s true that the transportation budget is funded mainly out of state revenues that specifically fund transportation costs, but this article in the Austin American-Statesman explains that most of the extra $3.6 billion will come from selling bonds, bonds whose interest is paid from the state’s general fund, not its transportation fund.

To the tune of $257 million over the next two years.

“‘We're borrowing money for highways. We're not borrowing money for our kids,’ state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte , D-San Antonio, said during the debate this week over the budget. She and the rest of the Senate's Democrats voted against that budget plan, while every Senate Republican voted for it.”
Business as usual in the Texas Senate.

No comments: