Strayhorn: Tap surplus for aid
AUSTIN - Texas has realized a $1.2 billion surplus in the past three months from higher oil and natural gas prices and sales taxes, which could be used to help pay for hurricane relief costs, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said Friday.
Strayhorn said Gov. Rick Perry should immediately call a three-day special legislative session so the money can be appropriated to help pay for increased costs for education, security and health providers dealing with more than 150,000 Katrina refugees.
"Texans have huge hearts, and thankfully we've also got the money toprovide real, lasting relief to the schools, cities and counties that have opened their doors to the refugees of this horrific natural disaster," she said.
Well, well,well.... First, I had no idea that the state of Texas had acquired this beautiful surplus. Just think, all that extra money we've being paying at the pump actually might be useful to the state. This may soften the blow that crisis will have on our economy.
The Texas Legislature only meets once every two years and we finally ended this years squabble just a month or so ago. But the Texas Departments have been working overtime to make sure they can provide state and federal relief for everybody.
Carol Keeton Strayhorn is a very respected individual in Texas. Strayhorn is challenging Perry as the Republican candidate for governor next year. Everybody is mad at Perry for something right now, even me. I wonder if Strayhorn is making this statement to look good, not because she thinks that Perry won't release enough money. If she wants more money, all she has to do is pick up the phone and call him. It could be that Perry's preformance during this crisis could help re-secure an easy election.
The state should look to FEMA for help first and then look at our surplus. FEMA has already promised to refund costs associated with the Astrodome. We'll be getting a cut of the $10.5 billion from Congress. Let's hold off on tapping this extra money today. We'll be needing it tomorrow.