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The Perry Pledge: Spending Cuts, No New Taxes

Gov. Perry called on legislators to back his "Budget Compact" today.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News
Gov. Perry called on legislators to back his "Budget Compact" today.

Governor Rick Perry is calling on state lawmakers to cut spending and keep taxes level in the state’s next budget. Perry unveiled details of the “Texas Budget Compact” in Houston today.

“By keeping this tight rein on spending, we can build a more solid, predictable economy that doesn’t put off tough decisions until, in some cases, it’s too late to deal with them,” Gov. Perry told the crowd in Houston. In details noted on the Governor’s website, Perry also called to “preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund” and “cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies.”

The state is in the middle of a two year budget passed by lawmakers in 2011. That budget cycle cut spending by $15 billion.

Reaction to the proposal has been mixed along party lines. Houston Rep. Jessica Farrar told The Texas Tribune Perry’s pledge would mean a “doubling down of the devastating cuts already made to public schools, colleges and universities.”

The political impact of Perry’s move – signaling his reassertion over Texas politics after his unsuccessful campaign for the presidential nomination – is being watched as well.

KUT News spoke with the Tribune’s Jay Root on the announcement’s impact. “Will Perry pick the challenger over the incumbent if the challenger agrees to the pledge but the incumbent doesn’t? It could create some divisions in primaries as the May 29elections approach if they play hardball with it.”

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