ECONOMY

House Budget Debate to Tackle Hot-Button Issues

Planning to follow the Texas House's budget debate today? Better clear your schedule. The chamber is set to debate 354 amendments, which are likely to stir debate on a range of issues like abortion, gay marriage, border security, school vouchers and more.

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, talks with colleagues on the floor during discussion on school finance Friday afternoon May 27, 2011.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, talks with colleagues on the floor during discussion on school finance Friday afternoon May 27, 2011.

Powdered Alcohol Ban Sent to Full House

Texas has joined a growing number of states moving quickly to outlaw powdered alcohol, a new product that health officials say could make it easier for minors to conceal and consume alcohol.

Powdered Alcohol Ban Sent to Full House

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, talks with colleagues on the floor during discussion on school finance Friday afternoon May 27, 2011.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, talks with colleagues on the floor during discussion on school finance Friday afternoon May 27, 2011.

Texas has joined a growing number of states moving quickly to outlaw powdered alcohol, a new product that health officials say could make it easier for minors to conceal and consume alcohol.

Featured Data

Texas Legislative Guide: Budget & Taxes

House Budget Plan Sets Stage for Transportation Funding Debate

State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.
State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.

Texas House budget writers put the final touches Thursday on a two-year budget that offers a different approach to boosting funding for transportation from the Senate.

Senate Tax Cut Plan Draws Several Critics at Hearing

Senators Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen and Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, listen to DPS Director Steve McCraw testify Dec. 1, 2014 at the Legislative Budget Board meeting at the State Capitol.
Senators Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen and Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, listen to DPS Director Steve McCraw testify Dec. 1, 2014 at the Legislative Budget Board meeting at the State Capitol.

There's a lot of ways you can spend $4.6 billion in tax cuts, and the Senate Finance Committee learned Wednesday that a wide range of special interest groups think the current proposal could use some work.

Analysis: A Distinctive Push for Business Tax Repeal

Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.
Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.

As lawmakers debate what kinds of tax cuts they like best, and voters point at property taxes as their favorite, a national conservative group is starting a grassroots campaign to promote repeal of the state's business margins tax. 

Patrick, Hancock Propose Spending Cap Changes

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announces the filing of SB1 with a series of property and business tax cuts for Texans on Feb. 24, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announces the filing of SB1 with a series of property and business tax cuts for Texans on Feb. 24, 2015.

Senate leaders on Tuesday rolled out more legislation that would change how the state sets its limit on spending for each budget biennium, and let lawmakers pass tax cuts that don't count toward the cap.

 

Film Groups Want Separate Funding for Video Games

Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.
Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.

Texas film heavyweights are asking lawmakers to create a separate funding strategy for video game incentives instead of continuing shared funding with film and television incentives. The video game lobby isn't ready for a split.