Edd Hendee, executive director of Citizens Lowering Our Unfair Taxes, sued Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Tom Craddick, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn and the Legislative Budget Board.
"The limitations in the constitution need to be defended against Republican leadership that has fallen intoxicatingly into this habit of spending more money than the constitution allows," said Hendee, a restaurant owner and a KSEV radio talk-show host.
He is asking the court to enforce a provision approved by Texas voters in 1978. The section states that the growth in appropriations shall not exceed the growth in the state's economy.
The lawsuit, filed in Travis County state district court, alleges the Legislative Budget Board has used artificially robust estimates of economic growth to justify high spending limits. The board, made up of Dewhurst, Craddick and other legislative leaders, develops recommendations for state agency appropriations.
Hendee wants a judge to declare the recently passed school finance appropriations unconstitutional. The Legislature spent nearly half of the state's $8.2 billion surplus to cover initial property tax cuts, a teacher pay raise and new high school spending.
Speaking of which, where there's division among Republicans, there's opportunity for Carole Keeton "Call me Grandma, please!" Strayhorn.
Strayhorn, the Republican comptroller who opted to run as an independent against Perry, said she welcomed the lawsuit, agreeing that state spending is out of control.
"During the last six years, the state budget has increased $44 billion. That is 44.75 percent during the last six years," said Strayhorn.
(By the way, I might have had a better idea about what actual issues Strayhorn cares about if her pathetically uninformative website had an Issues page on it. I know people from that campaign have read this blog in the past - if any of you are out there reading this now, please do something about that. It's embarrassing.)Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 15, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack