AUSTIN, TX - Senator Van Taylor today announced a new series of bills added to his limited government legislative package. Late last week, Taylor filed SB 403, The "Cap Government Growth Act," and SB 404, the "One, Five, Ten Percent Cut Act." This recent filing comes on the heels of SJR 9, The "Texas REINS Act" (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny), which would allow the Legislature to oversee and reject new rules or regulations proposed by state agencies that are made contrary to legislative intent.
"The growth in state government, fueled by greater spending of taxpayers' dollars, is a clear and present danger to personal freedom and individual liberty," stated Taylor. "The more government spends, or expands its reach by intrusive and unnecessary regulations, the more freedom it takes away from the people it serves. Limiting the size and reach of government is a top priority of mine for this legislative session and these bills will have a significant impact to that end."
Piper McCraw, immediate past president of Golden Corridor Republican Women, said of Taylor's legislation, "Senator Taylor is a strong, conservative leader who is truly advocating for the citizens of Texas to limit intrusive and over-burdensome government. His limited government package offers necessary and systematic solutions to reduce the size and reach of government. His recent bills would provide additional measures to strengthen our state spending cap and direct all our state agencies to proactively find ways in which they can find savings within their budgets. Van is quickly proving himself to be a thoughtful conservative leader in the Texas Senate who we can trust to fight for the people of Texas."
The "Cap Government Spending Act" expands the criteria for limiting state spending hikes to include the state's population growth plus inflation, or the rate of growth of the state's gross domestic product. This is a meaningful change from state budget writers' current practice of capping spending increases to an amount equal to economic growth. Further, Senator Taylor's bill would require that budget writers use the lowest estimate when calculating spending increases: a change that would limit growth in government while protecting taxpayers.
Taylor said of the "Cap Government Spending Act," "Without a watchful and vigilant eye government will naturally consume everything in its path. We have seen this happen in Washington D.C. and in state governments like California and New York. Texas is better off because we have safeguards, like our constitutional spending caps, that work to protect the taxpayer from the invasive growth of government. This legislation would help fortify these protections and construct additional obstacles to block the big-spenders from casually spending the peoples money."
The "One, Five, Ten Percent Cut Act" simply states that each state agency submit a detailed report every two years that identifies measures the agency can reduce biennial expenditures by 1%, 5%, and 10%. This would compel every state agency to look closely at their budget for areas in which they can be more efficient. This would also ensure that when spending cuts are needed they are made in a strategic way with thoughtful input from the affected agency.
Speaking on the "One, Five, Ten Percent Cut Act" Taylor said, "If a family or small business needs to adjust their spending they would carefully go through their budget and make priority decisions. Spending on vacations or new flat screen televisions would be stopped so that critical needs are fully funded. The 'One, Five, Ten Percent Cut Act' applies that same approach to state government, while forcing government bureaucracies to clearly state, in writing, ways they can most efficiently cut their budgets."
Senator Taylor had an immediate impact in the Texas Senate curtailing the growth of government by passing his rule change that codifies into Senate rules the Texas Constitutional requirement that all tax bills originate in the House of Representatives. This important rule change builds off the success of Taylor's "Truth in Taxation" rule he passed as a member of the House last session. The "Truth in Taxation" rule requires all House bills to clearly state in the first line of the bill if there is any attempt to raise taxes or fees.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor was named Vice-Chairman of the Nominations Committee and also appointed to serve on the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.