FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/05/2013
REP. SIMMONS STANDS FOR CONSERVATIVE VALUES IN HOUSE BUDGET
Budget Includes Rep. Simmons Contingency Amendment for 2% Cut to Fund Water Plan
AUSTIN - Last night, after twelve hours of debate and consideration of hundreds of amendments, the House of Representatives passed its version of the state budget, Senate Bill 1. Rep. Simmons voted for the budget which maintains a commitment to fiscal discipline while providing for ongoing functions of Texas state government in Fiscal Years 2014-2015.
The $194 billion budget stays below the constitutional spending cap, funds government within available revenue, and avoids any use of the Rainy Day Fund for regular government operations.
The House voted to support an amendment by Rep. Simmons which provides a goal of implementing a 2% across the board budget cut to fund the state water plan. This amendment is now up for consideration by the House and Senate conference committee which will resolve differences in the budgets passed by both chambers.
Addressing his colleagues on the floor of the Texas House, Simmons said "water is the most basic fundamental infrastructure needs of the people of Texas, and this amendment is about how to fund our state water plan in a way that doesn't bust our spending limit cap."
Rep. Simmons also helped defeat efforts which would have opened the door to Medicaid expansion in Texas, stating “we must remain vigilant and oppose all efforts to impose the reach of ObamaCare further into Texas.”
Simmons was hopeful that conferees will remove an amendment, adopted by the House, which eliminates any chance for the Texas Education Agency to provide funds to families for educational choice opportunities outside public school, including special needs students. Simmons said, "Overall, I am pleased with the budget, but I am hopeful that this can be stripped out in conference. All students should be provided the best opportunity for the highest quality education possible.”