Saturday, March 14, 2009

House Select Committee Meeting This Morning

Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding is holding a public hearing this morning asking for public testimony on the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act". The hearing is here in Arlington at UTA. This is one opportunity for Texans to speak up get our thoughts put into the public record.

The committee has a website that gives us an idea of what they are planning to do with the "stimulus" monies.

Texas Stimulus Fund

Texas House of Representatives
Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding

Dear Fellow Texan,

Our country and our state face economic challenges the likes of which we have not seen in a generation or more.

Unemployment is up. The stock market is down. And middle-class Texas families are struggling with out of control utility bills, skyrocketing college tuition rates and some of the most expensive homeowners’ insurance in the country.

In response to the national economic crisis, the U.S. Congress recently passed – and President Obama signed into law – the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also known as the federal economic stimulus bill. This $787 billion combination of tax cuts and funding for infrastructure development and job creation is an historic opportunity to invest in the future.

While Members of the Texas House did not have the opportunity to approve or disapprove of the stimulus, it is our obligation to ensure that the funds are spent with accountability and transparency. We cannot waste tax dollars, or miss the opportunity to make this one-time source of funds for work for Texans.

The bill contains billions of dollars in tax cuts. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit will provide a $400 cut for individuals making up to $75,000 per year, and $800 for families making up to $150,000. Texas home buyers will benefit from an $8,000 tax credit, and families buying new vehicles may take advantage of a new tax deduction for state and local sales taxes paid on new car purchases.

In Texas, our state will see almost $3 billion in investments intended to be spent on improving our state’s transportation infrastructure by building new highways and bridges.

Texas public schools stand to receive as much as $6 billion in support from the stimulus. And our health care system may see as much as $6 billion in the form of assistance to low-income, under-insured families and uninsured children.

Finally, by putting doing what is right for Texas first – and politics last – our state can assist laid-off workers with up to $500 million in unemployment assistance.

Texas taxpayers deserve nothing less then to have their state’s leaders working overtime on protect the future for all our families. It is my hope that will be a resource for businesses, community leaders, and families across our state. Our priorities are providing transparency and accountability, and ensuring that in Texas, the stimulus is used to put our state to work for years to come.

Jim Dunnam

Chairman – Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding
The "Stimulus" bill has passed and been signed into law. It is a bad idea and bad law, but there it is. We can not change the fact that this bill is now law, but we can see to it that the monies spent are spent wisely. Using this money on projects that will increase the future tax burden on the people and businesses of Texas is not a wise move. Using this money to get even more folks on the public dole is not a wise move. Let us take our time and ensure that projects started with this money can be completed with the money in hand. Paying for the "stimulus" bill is burden enough without increasing that burden with legacy projects that will require future tax monies from the citizens of Texas.

The meeting starts at 1030, hope to see you there.

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