The base budget that came out last night shows how bad a cuts-only approach is. Texas cannot afford to leave its people in the dust. This budget means less safe streets, crowded class rooms, middle class families unable to afford send their kids to college, and more people going hungry or unable to get the medical attention they need to live a healthy and productive life.

The budget lays off almost 10,000 front line state workers. This means 10,000 people who will not be shopping or going to restaurants, which will have a major impact on local economies. But when its public employees, it also means that the vital services to the citizens of Texas that these 10,000 people provide will not be delivered. “It has a much stronger impact because front line workers such parole officers, child abuse investigators, and vocational rehabilitation specialists help people to remain safe and thrive in this state,” said Mike Gross, vice president of the Texas State Employees Union.

The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), which operates the 12 residential State Supported Living Centers for Texans with severe and profound intellectual and developmental disabilities, took some of the biggest hits with funding cuts. The proposed budget would slash the agency’s funding by 38%, meaning thousands of disabled and elderly Texans will be hurt in the process. A 10% slash to Medicaid provider rates means that thousands of Texans with health insurance will have a harder and harder time finding doctors to treat them, not to mention the impact that will have on the medical industry in the state.

“These kinds of cuts are digging a hole so deep that the state won’t be able to climb out. At some point this recession will end. Failing to provide for this growing state and cutting costs at all costs will leave Texas ill prepared for the future,” said Gross. “Texas is already 50th in high school completion and health care coverage. This is why need a budget that includes raising revenue and using all of the Rainy Day Fund. Texans deserve better than this.”

Source: Texas State Employees Union