Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Texas Budget: "The Great ExPerryment"

The Texas Legislature and Governor Rick Perry stared down state programs.  Rick's six shooter wasn't filled with blanks, but hollow points capable of obliterating funds for current services, as much as 30%.  The gang headed for the Concho Valley, where most anything's a target.

Perry spied a Medicaid cost shift on San Angelo's Main Street.  Blam!  Health & Human Services took a hit of $206 million.  The Governor shouted, "Take that Feds," but the dastardly cost shift didn't disappear.  It grew exponentially for hospitals, physicians nursing homes and community based care programs.   They'll need to gouge other payors to make up Medicaid's shortfall.

But Perry's Gang warn't close to done. Education's got to git leaner.  Blam!  The legislature gang shot a $50 million hole in the budget for school districts, Howard College and Angelo State University. 

Dang if the gang didn't run across a probationer.  Blam!  The frightened man scampered back toward the jail house.  Perry bragged, "That'll git his sorry behind back to where it belongs."  The gang guffawed for their leader.

Perry shouted to the growing crowd, "Y'all got any folks not in their right mind?"  A local replied, "They might be hiding, what with all the ruckus."  One of Perry's boys cold cocked the man.  A boy ran to the fallen man's aid, saying only one word to his stunned father, "Jackasses."

The gang rode hard in a circle, stirring up a mighty dust.  Their pistols shot a $260 million hole in the Concho Valley's already leaking economy.  Rick took a big draw from his whiskey bottle, then hooted loudly.  "Welcome to the Great ExPerryment!  Let's ride, boys."  They headed east toward Austin, away from the mess they'd made..

The Concho Valley will know how it worked after its done.  Want to bet the perpetrators will be long gone?  When the jury's ready to judge his work, Governor Perry may well have taken the coach to Washington, D.C.

Update 3-18-11:  Tom Green County could lose $1.5 million in funding for various programs.   Add $1 million for surrounding county governments and the "take away" reaches $262.5 million.

Update 3-22-11:  SACMC CEO Brad Holland and Esperanza CEO Mike Campbell asked City Council to pass a resolution opposing drastic health care cuts.  The City expressed interest in rewording the resolution to include Angelo State University and SAISD.

Update 8-20-11:  The Standard Times reported Texas is losing its grip on jobs as the new state budget year approaches.  "The 9,400 government jobs lost last month was the sharpest monthly drop since September, with Central Texas taking the brunt of those losses."

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