Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy has cited eleven elected officials for their leadership in supporting free-market public policies during the 77th Legislative Session.
“These legislators have made a commitment to empowering the Texas taxpayers by relieving them of burdensome taxation, regulation and state spending,” said Texas CSE Director Peggy Venable.
Texas CSE selects state legislators to receive the Friend of the Taxpayer Award based on their demonstrated support of the principles of less government, lower taxes and fewer regulations.
“Through their work to reducing the size and scope of government, these state leaders enable their constituents to better make the decisions that affect their own lives, rather than have government make decisions for them,” added Venable. “We need more legislators like these who are committed to the principles of free markets and American values.”
Friend of the Taxpayer Award recipients include:
Gov. Rick Perry, who was steadfast in his opposition to new taxes and tax increases.
Land Commissioner David Dewhurst is recognized not for what he has attempted to do but what he has done. For the second straight two-year biennium, the Texas General Land Office has asked the Legislature for less funding and fewer employees than the previous biennium.
Rep. Carl Isett (Dist. 84) for his sponsorship of legislation promoting spending limitations (HJR 66) and for his legislation to eliminate double phone taxes (HB 1025).
Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth (Dist. 58) for her sponsorship the past two sessions of legislation which requires a supermajority vote of the House to enact a new tax or increase taxes (HJR 23).
Sen. David Sibley (Dist. 22) for sponsoring in the Senate legislation to eliminate double taxation on telephone bills (SB 547).
Rep. Suzanna Hupp (Dist. 54) and Rep. Sid Miller (Dist. 59) for sponsoring legislation which promotes privacy (HB 673 and HB 307, respectively).
Rep. Kent Grusendorf (Dist. 94) for his sponsoring the Teacher Protection Act, which provides protection against lawsuits to teachers (HB 2664); and for his sponsoring a resolution supporting President Bush’s tax cuts (HCR 207).
Rep. Rob Junell (Dist. 72) and Sen. Teel Bivins (Dist. 31) are recognized for their class action legislation (HB 2072 and SB 842).
Rep. Ron Wilson (Dist. 131) for sponsoring legislation that would create a public education voucher pilot program for certain students (HB 1240).
For the first time, Texas CSE has identified a “thumbs down” category for those legislators who have been most egregious in their actions to grow government. The Thumbs Down designation is going to sponsors of the Granny Tax (SB 1839), state income tax (HB 3293), the 5-cent gas tax increase (HB 1682), legislation which provided a blank check for trial lawyers (SB 1653 and HB 1433), and all legislators for voting for Teacher Health Insurance (HB 3343).
“CSE strives to recognize legislators for their good work. However, we don’t hesitate to actively oppose bad legislation,” said Venable.
“It should not go unheeded that most of the legislation we cited did not pass. This past legislative session was a defensive session for taxpayers. Texans did not have ‘lower tax and less government’ advocates in key leadership positions in the House and Senate,” said Venable. “As taxpayers are tightening their belts, we hope leaders in the next legislative session will do the same with the state budget.”