More Lawmakers Call for Use of the Rainy Day Fund, and Even Tax Hikes

Sen. Robert Deuell, Republican of Greenville, came out strongly today for using the Rainy Day Fund, closing tax loopholes, and raising some taxes to make up for the collapse of state revenue. In an interview with the Quorum Report today, Deuell said, “I’m advocating using the Rainy Day Fund—all of it. I also think we should raise the gas tax 10 cents and close loopholes in the sales tax.”

Meanwhile, over in the Texas House, the newly filed bill by Rep. Jim Pitts to use $4.273 billion of the Rainy Day Fund has drawn support from across the political spectrum. The Waxahachie Republican’s HB 275 has attracted as co-authors Republican Reps. John Otto of Dayton, Debbie Riddle of Tomball, Jimmie Don Aycock of Killeen, and Drew Darby of San Angelo, plus Democrat Helen Giddings of Dallas.

The outbreak of such commonsensical ideas at the capitol has shocked some anti-tax zealots into action in opposition. One such group, calling itself Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, has ginned up an education-focused campaign of robo-calls to residents of key legislative districts, claiming that the danger of budget-driven mass layoffs of teachers is a myth. But it’s no myth, as increasing numbers of legislators are coming to realize.