Texas Lawmakers to Try Again to Balance Budget Starting Monday
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ State legislators, unable to balance the budget during a 30-day special session that ended Thursday, will get another chance beginning Monday when a new special session starts.
Gov. Mark White signed a proclamation calling a second 30-day session to begin at 11 a.m. Monday after lawmakers reached the 30-day limit on the first.
″We’re closer now than we were 30 days ago,″ White said.
A majority of House members said they opposed new taxes and blocked White’s plan to wipe out a $3.5 billion deficit with a one-year, 1 -cent sales tax increase. Tax bills must start in the House.
The Senate approved $418 million in spending cuts, while the House cuts totaled $740 million.
The conference committee trying to resolve the difference continued meeting into the final day, but the House adjourned at 11:50 a.m. and the Senate followed at 12:21 p.m.
House Speaker Gib Lewis, who led tax opponents during the first special session, said he will support a tax hike only if other budget-balancing steps are taken first and still prove inadequate.
″If that doesn’t bridge the gap, sure, I’ll vote for a tax bill. I’m not about to allow the state to get in bad financial straits,″ Lewis said.
Possible actions being analyzed include delaying payments to state employee retirement funds, some type of sales tax increase and a boost in the motor fuel tax, said House research director Daryl Dorcy.
Asked if a tax increase in 1987 appears likely, House Speaker Pro Tem Hugo Berlanga said, ″It sure looks that way.″
″The Texas state budget crumbles while the House of Representatives fiddles, refusing to face up to the need for a tax increase,″ said Rep. Juan Hinojosa, vice chairman of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus.