February 9, 2011
In his Watson Wire column on Tuesday, Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, warns that state leaders may avoid long-term fixes to the state’s structural deficit and other budget problems by restoring some of the deep cuts in services that have been proposed. “So get ready to to hear so-called solutions that don’t really address the fact that the state has failed math class or solve the structural issues undermining Texas’ finances and its future. Get ready for more of the debt, diversions and deception that helped create this crisis in the first place, without even an acknowledgment that the state should be doing things differently. Get ready to hear those in control declare themselves victims, avoiding accountability for problems they helped create but can’t, or won’t, solve. Oh – and get ready for short-sighted budget decisions that are still really bad for Texas and it’s future, but that have the arguable virtue of not being as bad as the ones we’re being shown right now.”
Watson may prove to be the Democrats’ most effective spokesman against the GOP budget plans. But he is working with Republicans on a number of measures. He had a press conference Monday with Attorney General Greg Abbott, who soundly defeated Watson for that job in 2002, about sexting legislation. He’s working with Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, on legislation that would expand the state’s definition of agricultural land to cover water stewardship. And even though he was sharply critical of the limited information that came from Comptroller Susan Combs about the budget shortfall last year, he’s working with Combs on a college-savings bill.