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Perry to lawmakers: No new taxes or increases

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More than eight months before the Texas Legislature reconvenes, Gov. Rick Perry warned lawmakers he'd oppose any new taxes or increases in taxes already on the books.

Perry appeared Monday at New World Van Lines Inc., a Houston moving company which he says is typical of businesses with annual revenues of less than $1 million.

"What I’m calling for is really quite simple. As the stewards of Texas we should practice truth-in budgeting, support a stricter constitutional limit on spending, oppose any and all new taxes or tax increases, preserve the Rainy Day Fund and cut wasteful and redundant government programs and agencies," the governor said.

In his speech, Perry said companies like New World Van Lines would benefit from a business tax exemption which he believes should be made permanent.

"Keeping taxes low is an essential part of what’s made Texas the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family, and that’s not going to change on my watch," Gov. Perry said.

The $5.4 billion cut from the state's public school system last year prompted Chris Frandsen to run for the Texas House District 47 seat.

“If he really goes through with this or tries to run this through, his principles are basically running over the school children in Texas,” Frandsen said. “If he does it again, he’s really going to kill public education. I really believe this is going to be one of the most important elections in the history of Texas.”

The Travis County Democrat says lawmakers should have dipped into the $7.3 billion dollar Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget.

Instead, according to the Texas State Teacher's Association, 25,000 tax-paying school employees have lost their jobs. Almost 11,000 of those were teachers.

Also, there are more than 8,400 overcrowded elementary classrooms packed with more students than state law allows, and several neighborhood schools are marked for closure.

“There’s waste. That’s waste led by Republicans,” Frandsen said. “Cutting the budgets of the public school boards that are elected by the citizens of Texas is not the answer.”

The governor also said a good chunk of the state budget is geared toward Medicaid costs and that will only increase if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't throw out President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Legislature won't reconvene until January, but Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said “It's never too early to start looking at these issues.”

Nashed said Perry wants to make clear to lawmakers what must be done to ensure the state will be in good financial shape heading into next year.

Texas is operating on a two-year budget lawmakers passed last year that included state spending cuts of almost $15 billion.

Click here for more information on Gov. Perry's budget compact.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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