Rep. Dustin Burrows introduces 3 bills focused on taxpayers’ dollars

By: Amber Stegall

(KCBD) – District 83 Representative Dustin Burrows introduced three bills Monday focused on “effective stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars.”

“Our state government – legislators and our state agencies – ought to be judged by how well we meet legitimate objectives. These bills encourage proper budget planning and accountability. Like Texas families, our government entities must live within their means, and avoid surprises that affect financial solvency,” said Burrows.

HB-1839 directs every state agency that makes legislative appropriations requests to prepare detailed reports identifying measures they will take to reduce expenditures from general revenue by 1%, 5% and 10%. A companion bill in the Texas Senate (SB-135), offered by Senator Van Taylor addresses agency spending as well. “The Senate bill establishes a level of taxpayer protection by requiring that agencies plan for spending cuts to meet the state’s fiscal needs or save taxpayers’ dollars. Rather than treat taxpayers as a bottomless well from which government can grow, this bill instructs state agencies to routinely evaluate ways to lower their burden on Texas taxpayers,” said Senator Taylor in a recent statement on SB-135.

HB-1840 addresses transparency and accountability among state agencies and state government officials when requesting studies be completed by the state’s institutions of higher education.  At the request of state agencies and all three branches of the state government, Texas taxpayers foot the bill for numerous studies – often conducted with little or no legislative oversight. “Our universities produce first class work, but the taxpayer needs to know who is requesting the studies, why, and at what cost,” said Burrows.

HB-1841 calls for the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to be subject to sunset review and directs the Comptroller of Public Accounts to review the accuracy of LBB’s fiscal notes – notes which can directly lead to the passage of – or the death of – proposed legislation. “Transparency is key to the operation of each and every state agency — and the LBB is a lynch pin in the legislative process. HB-1841 opens for public review LBB’s critical function,” said Burrows.

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