For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi
May 16, 1997 (202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) –  In a letter to members of the Texas legislature, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) urged legislators to preserve an amendment to the Tax Reform Bill which would create an independent committee to study waste in state government.  The amendment, if left intact, would authorize the formation of the Private Sector Committee on Cost Control in State Government. 

Writing on behalf of CCAGW’s 34,000 Texas members, CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz said, “ establishing such a commission, legislators can use savings from spending cuts, plus the $1 billion budget surplus, to offset lower property taxes in future years; there would be no need to further burden Texas citizens with higher hidden taxes.”

In his letter, Schatz cited the success of the Grace Commission established by President Reagan in 1982.  After two years and the work of 2,000 volunteers, the Grace Commission made 2,478 recommendations which, if implemented, would have saved taxpayers $424.4 billion over three years.  In the last decade, CCAGW has worked to implement Grace Commission findings, helping to save taxpayers more than $486 billion.

Schatz also pointed out that dozens of other states have used the Grace Commission as a model for their own waste-fighting commissions.  As an example, he cited Pennsylvania’s IMPACCT Commission, which made 450 recommendations to Governor Tom Ridge in February 1996.  If fully implemented, the IMPACCT Commission’s recommendations would save Pennsylvania taxpayers $7.3 billion over five years.

Schatz acknowledged the efforts of the State Comptroller’s Office to cut government waste, but urged Texans to establish a private commission to supplement the comptroller’s work.  According to Schatz, “an independent commission...will offer new perspectives on how to run government more efficiently....I urge you, at the very least, to keep this amendment as part of the final bill.”

CCAGW is a 600,000-member lobbying organization dedicated to seeking enactment of legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Jim Campi at (202) 467-5300.


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