The Governor, Lt Governor and House Speaker have had a change of heart. They met for a long prayer meeting. It was unclear who initiated the meeting. They came away feeling remorseful about the limitations they imposed on local governments.
In a sense of fairness, they announced their main legislative priorities for the next session:
- They will cap the basis upon which state severance taxes on oil are computed. They will “rollback” with a cap of only $30 per barrel.
- They will eliminate the state’s sales taxes on boats and motor vehicles.
- They will cap their own salaries to 2010 levels with increases capped at 1/10 of the CPI.
- They will forbid the use of state airplanes with travel limited to commercial coach only.
- The Governor will only have one security guard, saying public safety is no longer a priority for him.
- The Governor’s mansion will be sold; however, a small stipend for an apartment will be allowed.
- The Trio will apologize to the City of Austin for everything bad ever said about the City. Unprecedented cooperation will be the order of the day.
- The Trio pledges to cover previously unfunded mandates going back for at least 10 years, and will forbid same in the future.
- All future state congressional hearings will be conducted by a panel of fair judges who will be required by law to listen to the testimony of local officials, professionally evaluated and presented to the Legislature.
- State incentive money for companies already coming to Texas will be removed from the state budget and given to existing companies that have been productive and faithful contributors in the past.
The announcement of these new sentiments will be at a meeting hosted by the Trio in conjunction with a goodwill gesture embracing the Texas Municipal League and singing kumbaya. The theme will be “Local Government Appreciation Day – We Want To Be Responsible Like You.” LFM