AUSTIN -- On Tuesday, Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) commented on the State's fiscal situation following the release of the Biennial Revenue Estimate by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
According to Strayhorn, the upcoming session of the legislature will have $7.4 billion less in available revenue for 2004-2005, which includes a shortfall of $1.8 billion for this fiscal year. Including current programs and obligations, the State faces a potential $9.9 billion shortfall.
Deuell said he is committed to finding solutions to the State's budget woes.
"I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Texas Senate to find common-sense solutions," Deuell said. "I believe we can find ways to fund necessary programs and protect the interests of Senate District Two, while not expanding the tax burden on our citizens."
Deuell said one solution is for the State to work from a zero-based budget. The objective of Zero Based Budgeting is to start from scratch each year. While a traditional budgeting process allows budget writers to start with last year's expenditures, Zero Based Budgeting requires the state to build a budget from the ground up, to start at zero.
"Zero-based budgeting will allow the State maintain fiscal discipline," Deuell said. "Just like any Texas family, the State must live within its means."
Deuell echoed Strayhorn's call for leadership from the legislature.
"I agree with the Comptroller that this is a time for leadership," Deuell said. "It's time we pull up our boot straps and get to work."
"These are the decisions voters have sent us here to make. I am confident we can find solutions that benefit all Texans."