Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 8, 2011
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis on State of the State

Senator Rodney Ellis today released a statement commenting on Governor Perry's Speech

"Governor Perry needs to realize that the campaign is over and slogans and bumper stickers are not going to get us out of this mess.

"Let's look at reality: Texas currently faces a $27 billion shortfall, and the initial budget proposals in the House and Senate slash essential services that help millions of Texans families. According to the Comptroller, we have a $10 billion structural deficit, so just gutting programs for Texans is not the answer. If that is the only plan, we are going to be right back here in two years dealing with another budget hole, just as in 2009 when we were bailed out by the federal government.

"So far, this budget tells the disabled Texas child: 'sorry, won't help you.' It tells grandma in the nursing home and on Medicaid: 'too bad, move back in with your kids.' The student who followed the rules and we've pushed to go to college: 'good luck with that, but we don't have any financial aid for you, and tuition is going up.'

"This budget solution is an all out assault on working Texas families struggling to make ends meet. It protects tax loopholes and tax breaks that cost our state yet produce minimal results, it will eliminate over 100,000 jobs, and leave millions of Texans without essential, basic services. It's a cold, impersonal and sterile approach to governing, but budgets aren't merely numbers—they have real world, sometimes life and death, implications for hundreds of thousands of Texans.

"A 'balanced budget' that places all of the burden on those who can least afford it is not an achievement. We must ensure Texans struggling the most are given a helping hand, not a cold shoulder, and those doing well must bear more of the load. Texas already ranks near the bottom in education resources provided to our communities, and at the top in the percentage of residents without health insurance, and this budget is an express ticket straight to the bottom; Legislators in Mississippi will be saying 'thank God for Texas'.

"Texans deserve a genuine, honest discussion on the budget crisis, not more rhetoric and campaign talk."