Gov. Rick Perry, who sounds like he's ready to run for president, signed a state budget that was filled with all kinds of accounting trickery and deferrals that folks in California have become quite familiar with. Except that California lawmakers aren't using their deviousness to run for higher office. From AP:
Perry signed a budget that was balanced only through accounting maneuvers, rewriting school funding laws, ignoring a growing population and delaying payments on bills coming due in 2013. It accomplishes, however, what the Republican majority wanted most: It did not raise taxes, took little from the Rainy Day Fund and shifted any future deficits onto the next Legislature. Those are key talking points for Perry, as he speaks to the conservative faithful around the country and considers a run for president in 2012. Many Republican lawmakers have complained privately, and Democrats publicly, that Perry has heavily influenced the session to make sure nothing passed that would hurt a potential campaign.
Texas tea party activists pressured Republicans to deal with a $27 billion deficit through cuts alone. That includes $7.8 billion to health and human services. "I am proud Texas will continue to live within its means while encouraging job creation and maintaining essential services," said Perry. Essential services? Like keeping the lights on?