According to Community Impact, the Texas Legislature finally adopted a budget of $197 billion for the 2014-2015 biennium. That's even higher than the $194 billion they were considering earlier.
The 2012-2013 budget was $174 billion.
Both houses of the Texas Legislature are controlled by Republicans. The governor is also a Republican.
You might have heard news accounts that suggest Republicans like to cut government spending. In real life, Republicans very much prefer to increase spending.
If you're interested in cutting government spending, support Libertarians.
Libertarian George Brown ran in the May 21 special election for Pennsylvania General Assembly, District 42. He faced a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot. Brown got 5.5%, which is a relatively strong showing for a Libertarian in a partisan special election.
Congratulations to George Brown! We need more Libertarians running in special elections around the country. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this article on the election.
According to Richard Sincere of Examiner.com, Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for governor, wants lots of debates -- as long as Libertarian candidate Rob Sarvis isn't there.
According to the article, Cuccinelli wants his Democratic opponent to debate him at least 15 times. When asked if Rob Sarvis should also debate, he said, "Not really, no."
It's odd that Republicans feel a particular fear of Libertarians, since polls frequently show that Libertarian candidates get at least as much support from Democrats as from Republicans.
If the Democrat and the Republican really believe in democracy and well-informed voters, they should be eager to include Rob Sarvis in debates.
Yes, that's the headline of this Texas Tribune article. Texas taxpayers will be forced to spend an additional $105 million just to cover the raise, but that's not enough for the prison lobby.
The union claims, among other things, that "poor pay" leads to corruption. That's right, people aren't responsible for their own corruption, they can blame their salary.
If prison employees aren't getting paid enough, maybe they should go look for a different job.
Libertarians know what this all comes back to: the war on drugs. Without that, we'd have a lot fewer prisons, prisoners, and prison employees, lower taxes, and a lot less corruption to worry about.
Associated Press reports on a problem in Flower Mound, where a solar-panel-loving homeowner is running into trouble with his less enthusiastic neighborhood association.
They have apparently settled their lawsuit, which may have been filed because "the law, as it stands now, is a little vague." The law lets neighborhood associations block solar panels sometimes.
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with solar panels, but there is something wrong with government subsidies. The article doesn't say how much taxpayers were forced to pay for this homeowner's solar panels, but it's probably safe to assume quite a lot.
It certainly is humorous when the solar-panel-loving government pushes people to install solar panels that neighbors find ugly, so the quasi-governmental neighboorhood association pushes back.
And it's extra funny to hear the neighborhood association worry that the homeowner is generating too much electricity.
Libertarians would get rid of the subsidies, which would eliminate most of the nonsense.
Lindsey Bolton is the Libertarian candidate for Virginia House of Delegates, District 48.
The Houston Chronicle reports on a school board candidate who won an election last weekend with one vote.
Her opponent received zero votes.
The article doesn't say how big the district is, but presumably it's very small. Small jurisdictions are great opportunities for Libertarian candidates, who can win pretty easily, and then start applying Libertarian principles in office.
Virginia holds elections for its House of Delegates this November, and Libertarian Laura Delhomme is running in District 47.
The Houston Chronicle's Ultimate Texans blog is carrying an article about the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. It mentions that taxpayers are on the hook for $150 million. That's something that has cropped up in Texas too.
One of the players commented, "We're using public money, but at the same time it's going to benefit the public. In my mind, as a taxpaying resident of the state of Minnesota, that seems like a good way to spend our tax dollars." Thanks for the unbiased opinion.
So once again, taxpayers cough up so really rich people can lower their risk and make even more money. The "economic activity" theory of redistribution is alive and well. It's a good time to be a corporate welfare queen.
If only there were some Libertarians on the city council who could expose this nonsense for what it really is: robbing some people to benefit others.