Texas ended its fiscal year in September with a $2.6 billion surplus and lawmakers could enter the 2015 legislative session with $8 billion in its Rainy Day Fund, Comptroller Susan Combs reported Thursday.Full Story
The Texas Constitution requires the Legislature to balance its budget every year without borrowing against future receipts. That bars the government from deficit spending and forces lawmakers, who meet for 20 weeks every two years, to constantly balance demands for programs and services against voters' desire to limit taxes, fees and other costs of government.
The Legislative Budget Board — a ...
The state's proposal to convert some paved roads back to gravel has invisible counterparts in other areas of the state budget. But it's apparently safer to talk about transportation problems.Full Story
Most state lawmakers have been focusing on transportation funding these days. But several of them have their eyes on a different prize: convincing voters to support putting dollars aside for water projects.
Texas legislators might eventually get the transportation funding bill the governor asked them for, but it's not the stuff parades are made of: They've already blown two chances.Full Story
The state's abortion and health care policies intersect in the budget — even though that might not always be part of the debate — and the budget is where the impact of decisions on abortion and Medicaid will be revealed.Full Story
When a fellow senator voted against the state budget because certain programs weren't funded, he forgot to mention that he was directly responsible for those funding decisions.Full Story
Texas voters favor banning abortions after 20 weeks of a pregnancy, but they remain split on the permissibility of abortions in the state, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.Full Story
A plan to fund Texas highway construction by diverting half of the money that currently feeds the state's Rainy Day Fund could find new life in a special session.Full Story
Lawmakers raced to get several bills passed before the 83rd Legislature's regular session ended. And with Monday's announcement of a special session, their work isn't done. Here's a look at the deals reached and the measures that fell short in the regular session.
If Texas’ less-than-theatrical 83rd legislative session is remembered at all, it will be known for accords, not discord. Here's a look at top storylines from this session and what they could portend for the future.
In the final days of the session, Senate budget leaders came up with an ambitious proposal to find more money for road construction and maintenance. House leaders made it clear they weren't interested.Full Story
This week in the Texas Weekly Newsreel: Only a few days remain in the 83rd legislative session, and everything is up in the air — including whether lawmakers will come back for more when the session ends on Monday.Full Story
A fee paid by millions of Texans and businesses on their electric bills would be abolished in September under a deal made Friday, the Senate's budget writer said. The fee goes to a fund that helps low-income Texans with their utility bills.Full Story
The clock is ticking for lawmakers hard at work to pass prize bills in the final days of the 83rd legislative session. Here's a look at what's still outstanding. Check back often: We'll update this story as deals are brokered or broken.
UPDATED: After days of jockeying and one-upsmanship, the Texas House and Senate each approved measures Wednesday evening critical to passing their next two-year budget.
The Senate raised the bar Tuesday evening in its standoff with the lower chamber by tying the provisions in a major franchise tax relief bill to key legislation being held up in the House.Full Story
The public doesn't closely follow legislative debates over the budget, but sometimes those budget debates line up pretty accurately with public opinion.Full Story