For Texas, and only Texas, this funding rule will be in place through 2013. This is a form of punishment because the Beltway crowd believes the Lone Star State didn't spend enough of its 2009 stimulus money. Apparently Texas politicians have been clinging to the quaint notion that the government should try to live within its means.
Texans also seem to have an old-fashioned appreciation for the rule of law. On Friday, 22 GOP Members of the state's Congressional delegation sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "This provision would have Texas violate her own State Constitution," they wrote. "The Texas Legislature has sole authority to determine State appropriations. Moreover, one Legislature cannot bind a future Legislature. Requiring the State to assure that a future Texas Legislature would commit to spend funds in accordance with these provisions would violate the Texas Constitution."
Texas Governor Rick Perry is also opposed to this new "assistance" from the federal government. He understands that one-time payments that force permanently higher state obligations are a windfall for government employees. But if given the choice, taxpayers would just say no.
Gov. Rick Perry made it clear in no uncertain terms that he’s not happy with the State of Texas being required to increase dramatically education funding in exchange for getting $830 million from today’s education stimulus bill. The so-called “Doggett amendment” to the new federal stimulus bill has taken fire from Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus.“Educating our children is one of our highest priorities, and Texas has a strong track record of continuous educational improvement,” Perry said. “From rising standardized test scores to recognition as a national leader for having the steps in place to prepare our students for success in college and the workplace, Texas schools are moving in the right direction. Despite Texas’ public school success, Lloyd Doggett and the misguided congressional majority are putting Texas in the position of violating our state constitution to receive additional federal funding for Texas students. It is unfortunate that Washington continues to play partisan games with Texans' tax dollars and the very future of our children. Texas will not surrender to Washington’s one-size-fits-all, deficit-spending mindset or let Washington do to the Texas budget what they have done to the federal budget. We’ll continue to work with state leaders, including the attorney general, to fight this injustice.”[SNIP]Dewhurst called the Doggett amendment “Texas-bashing” and lambasted Democrats for including it in the legislation. “Leaders in Washington are once again singling out Texas for partisan political gain,” Dewhurst said. “Last year, all available federal stimulus funds designated for public education were appropriated for public education by the Texas Legislature, and were approved by the U. S. Secretary of Education. By maintaining our conservative fiscal policies, Texas will to continue to balance our state budget, a concept that Washington, D.C. can't seem to grasp."