House officials defend lounge renovation

December 8, 2008 2:48:10 PM PST
State officials are defending a big-ticket renovation of the members-only lounge of the Texas House of Representatives. They say the $140,000 project was needed to spruce up the dingy, run-down room.

Republican state Representative Tony Goolsby of Dallas chairs the House Administration Committee. He says the lounge had been dingy and had plumbing problems before the remake. Now, he says, "We have a place that we're all proud of."

Goolsby made the remarks during a media tour of the 860 square-foot room, where taxpayers paid for new cabinets, light fixtures, carpet, big-screen TVs and new kitchen appliances. The renovation has been criticized as excessive spending at the same time Governor Rick Perry ordered state agencies to "dial back their spending."

The somewhat cramped lounge features new red carpet, shiny appliances and exuded a new-old feeling with antique touches and white oak trim.

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