It depends on your viewpoint, I guess, but with all the other programs that were among the $1.2 billion in spending cuts announced by state leaders today, you may wonder why it was so important to save $750,000 for a steroid testing program for high school athletes. The program, after all, has randomly tested some 29,000 studentathletes over the past two years and has found only 11 who tested positive for the dangerous substances.
Some $250,000 was trimmed from the $1 million program in the Texas Education Agency’s budget, but most of the appropriation was saved.
You could argue, as I am sure Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst does, that the testing program is a strong deterrent against steroid use, an argument that is almost impossible to prove. Dewhurst was one of the main people championing the program when lawmakers created it in 2007. Testing positive can disqualify an athlete from competition.
Or you could argue, as I am sure many of Dewhurst’s detractors do, that the lieutenant governor, who considered the program a significant political victory, just can’t bring himself to let it go.
Dewhurst said the $1.2 billion worth of belttightening “will protect taxpayers’ hardearned money while maintaining essential services vital to the people of Texas.”
And vital to political resumes, no doubt