Texas Comptroller Carol Keeton Strayhorn testified before the Senate Finance Committee today, saying that a small increase in funding to the Comptroller's Office could lead to an increase in state revenue. The committee heard testimony from a number of state government agencies, but it was Strayhorn's testimony that grabbed the attention of many committee members. By increasing funding to her office by $15 million, the Comptroller said her office could better collect revenue and that she could increase her general revenue assessment by more than $400 million. She also advocated that this money be used to restore cuts made to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the 78th session. The Comptroller said she estimates that it would take about $168 million to bring CHIP back to the level of coverage it had before the 2004-2005 biennium.
The Senate passed Senate Resolution 77 today, which commended the city of Laredo for its month-long celebration of George Washington's birthday. Laredo has held the festival every year since 1898, in order to honor the memory and values of George Washington and his wife, Martha. The celebration features a number of parades, parties and even a debutante ball. Citizens of both the United States and Mexico attend this 108 year old festival. Four residents of Laredo appeared on the Senate floor, dressed in elaborate costumes representing George Washington, Martha Washington, Pocahontas and a Native American Chief.
The Senate will reconvene Wednesday, February 2nd, at 11:00 A.M.