August 10, 2006

You may recall that a local taxpayers agitprop group filed a lawsuit in June claiming that the state's Legislative Budget Board violated a constitutional spending limit by overestimating how much the state's economic growth would be. Yesterday, a judge threw out that lawsuit on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not have any legal standing.

Visiting state District Judge Bill Bender of Seguin ruled Monday that Citizens Lowering Our Unfair Taxes didn't have standing to sue the Legislative Budget Board over the state's constitutional spending cap, which limits the state budget from growing more than the Texas economy.

The group alleged that the LBB, which includes Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Tom Craddick and eight other key lawmakers, has used artificially inflated estimates of economic growth to justify higher spending limits.

It contended the school finance appropriations approved by the Legislature during the spring special session were unconstitutional.

Edd Hendee, CLOUT's executive director, said the group will file an appeal with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin.

"If a taxpayer doesn't have standing in a courthouse, I question who does," he said.

Whatever. This lawsuit did have some comedic value when Carole Keeton Strayhorn attempted to pull off one of the more impressive political pirouettes seen in recent memory.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who is challenging Gov. Rick Perry as an independent, also was a defendant in the suit.

She sought to be named a plaintiff, but that issue wasn't addressed once the suit was dismissed.

I presume her next move will be to sue Secretary of State Roger Williams to be certified as a plaintiff in this suit. It seems to be her default response to just about everything these days.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 10, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

Small world...Isn't that Paul "I Might Be a CD22 Write-In" Bettencourt's group? I was hoping we would never hear Dan Patrick's shrill voice in Fort Bend County.

Posted by: Mark on August 10, 2006 6:09 PM