Tribpedia: Budget

Tribpedia

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 ...

Read More...

Procedural Move Allows GOP to Pass Senate Budget

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, ponders Democratic speeches before the vote on the Senate budget bill May 4, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, ponders Democratic speeches before the vote on the Senate budget bill May 4, 2011.

The $176 billion dollar budget makes cuts to all state agencies, but does spend about $12 billion more than the House does in its bill. The budget passed along party lines, with all 19 Republicans voting for the bill and the 12 Democrats voting against.

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, ponders Democratic speeches before the vote on the Senate budget bill May 4, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, ponders Democratic speeches before the vote on the Senate budget bill May 4, 2011.

Senate Approves Budget Bill on Party-Line Vote

The Texas Senate voted 19-12 along party lines Wednesday to pass its own version of HB 1, the House’s budget for the next biennium. Not only did the Democrats lose their power to stop the bill under the traditional two-thirds rule, but they may have lost their chance for a Democrat to join the conference committee where five senators and five representatives will develop a compromise bill.

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, chairman of Senate Finance Committee, looks for support on the Senate floor during the introduction of the Luna Scholars in the background on May 4, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, chairman of Senate Finance Committee, looks for support on the Senate floor during the introduction of the Luna Scholars in the background on May 4, 2011.

Liveblog: Senate Passes Budget, 19-12

Over the vehement objections of Democrats, the Texas Senate today passed a state budget for the next biennium by a straight party-line vote of 19 to 12.

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, attempts to get votes to suspend the rules on CSSB1580 a Senate spending bill on April 28, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, attempts to get votes to suspend the rules on CSSB1580 a Senate spending bill on April 28, 2011.

Why Texas House Won't Agree to Senate Budget

It might not matter, in the end, whether the Senate wants to use some of the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget. The House isn’t likely to go along unless the proposition is delivered on a tea cart pushed by Gov. Rick Perry and third-party conservative groups who have been hounding lawmakers to hold the line.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Carlos Uresti, Sen. Robert Duncan and Sen. Dan Patrick review amendments to Senate Bill 16, the abortion sonogram bill.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Carlos Uresti, Sen. Robert Duncan and Sen. Dan Patrick review amendments to Senate Bill 16, the abortion sonogram bill.

Texas Senate Debates "Non-Tax Revenue"

The Texas Senate, digging publicly for money while it battles quietly over a proposed budget, approved a "non-tax revenue" bill that would make $4.3 billion available for spending over the next two years.

Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during Senate Finance Committee hearing on April 19th, 2011
Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during Senate Finance Committee hearing on April 19th, 2011

Senate Budget Debate Stalls Over Vote Count

Waiting for the Senate budget debate? Get comfortable. Plans to bring the Senate’s substitute for the House’s budget, HB 1, up for a vote on the floor on Thursday have for now been pushed back to Friday or later, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (c) goes over legislation with colleagues on the Senate floor April 18, 2011
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (c) goes over legislation with colleagues on the Senate floor April 18, 2011

Dewhurst Makes Budget Pitch to Senators

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, trying to build enough support to bring the budget up for consideration this week, appealed in writing to state senators, supporting the plan and a provision that would allow the state to spend $3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund.

Gov. Rick Perry (c) visits the Texas House and talks to Rep. Gary Elkins (l), R-Houston and Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, on April 26, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (c) visits the Texas House and talks to Rep. Gary Elkins (l), R-Houston and Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, on April 26, 2011.

Perry: "No Faith" In LBB; Leave Rainy Day Fund Alone

Gov. Rick Perry says he is unswayed by estimates that the state's Rainy Day Fund may end up being more flush than previously anticipated and blasted the Legislature's budget office as an unreliable source of numbers.

Texas For Conservative Budget Commercial
Texas For Conservative Budget Commercial

Video: Conservative Coalition Expands Ad Campaign

One day after the Senate passed its version of the budget for the next biennium, the Texas Public Policy Foundation expanded its media campaign for a "conservative budget." They produced a series of new ads now running on statewide television. The timing appears to be strategic, as the Senate and House prepare to reconcile their spending plans in conference committee. 

A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.
A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.

Senate Panel Approves $176.5 Billion Budget

A $176.5 billion budget for the 2012-13 biennium — 5.9 percent smaller than the current budget but almost $12 billion larger than the version passed earlier by the House — won approval from the Senate Finance Committee Thursday.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Steve Ogden and Sen. John Whitmire listen during committee meeting on April 19th, 2011
Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Steve Ogden and Sen. John Whitmire listen during committee meeting on April 19th, 2011

Senators Look for Money Without Saying "Taxes"

State senators have unveiled a list of almost $5 billion in cash-flow tricks, property sales and fees that could be used to ease cuts in the state budget, but it's not enough to completely close the gap between what they have available and what they hope to spend.

Carol Strayhorn announces for governor, June, 2005.
Carol Strayhorn announces for governor, June, 2005.

A Texas-Sized Budget Problem Deferred — to Now

The 2006 tax swap — lowering local school property taxes and creating a new business tax to make up the difference — is at the center of Texas' current budget troubles. The architects are still pointing fingers over what and whom to blame for the state's “structural deficit.”

Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.
Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.

Slideshow: Fever Tick Inspection in Laredo

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 18, 2011

Hamilton on Victoria's efforts to divorce the University of Houston, Ramshaw on a disagreement between right-to-life groups over laws governing when life ends, E. Smith's TribLive interview with Sen. Kel Seliger and Rep. Burt Solomons on redistricting, Aguilar's interview with the mayor of Juárez, Tan on the continuing hunt for money to buy down budget cuts, Grissom on a psychologist who found more than a dozen inmates mentally competent to face the death penalty, Stiles and yours truly on the House redistricting maps and Galbraith on cutting or killing a tax break for high-cost natural gas producers: The best of our best content from April 11 to 15, 2011.