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There’s no such thing as a rainy day

Rainy Day Fund? What Rainy Day Fund?

State budget writers will propose eliminating agencies, cutting others to a quarter of their current size and laying off state employees to balance the budget without raising taxes or using the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, told an Ellis County group that the shortfall is also the reason lawmakers have talked about leaving the federal Medicaid program.

“We’re making huge cuts,” Pitts told the group. “There are agencies that are in existence today that we are eliminating when we introduce the bill. We are making some large cuts to some agencies that are not going away — up to 75 or 80 percent of their budget. That’s where we are today, is doing those cuts. And yes, sir, I’m nearly there. But we may need to do some more. And what we may do is we may get furloughs, we are having hiring freezes, we have told the [Health and Human Services Commission] to do a freeze on our waiting list. There are numerous things we can come up with, but we are getting very close to being able to come up with that money without using the Rainy Day Fund.”

Then why do we have a Rainy Day Fund? Seriously, if a $24 billion dollar deficit isn’t reason to use it, then why do we have it? How is it a better idea to lay a bunch of people off during a time of high unemployment and a slow economy? Never mind policy, I don’t get the philosophy behind this. If we’re not going to use it, we may as well just abolish it and use the money to give Dan Patrick another property tax cut, since that seems to be the only thing these guys care about.

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