After days of negotiations, House and Senate representatives agreed to a budget plan that would add roughly $4 billion in extra funding for public education. It also paves the way for a $2 billion fund for water infrastructure projects. The plan still needs approval from the full House and Senate, as well as the governor.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 proposed state budget would increase state judge's base salaries by 12 percent — and would do the same thing to state legislators' pensions. Check out the added benefit by member.Full Story
UPDATED: Half a day after Senate budget leaders said the contours of a budget deal were in place, confusion and uncertainty reigned in the Capitol as key negotiators argued over competing proposals.
UPDATED: Budget negotiations stretched late into the evening on Wednesday, but lawmakers said privately they didn’t expect to announce a deal until Thursday.
With less than two weeks before the end of the 83rd legislative session, efforts to find more funding for the Texas Department of Transportation are sputtering.Full Story
For this week's nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about the likelihood of special sessions, the issues that might force them and whether there will be multiple such sessions.Full Story
In the waning days of budget negotiations, medical providers are pushing lawmakers to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates that were chopped two years ago.Full Story
Tax relief has become a key issue in the final weeks of the legislative session, and nearly all of the relief efforts are focused on the franchise tax paid by businesses. Use our interactive to track the status of those bills.Full Story
State budget leaders adopted unified proposals for several areas of the budget on Monday morning but said they are still working on the two largest pieces: education and health and human services.Full Story
In the latest Texas Weekly Newsreel: With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, the deadlines are coming fast and furious, raising the stakes and prompting whispers of a special session if things don't get finished.Full Story
The betting here is that state finance is the closing drama of the session and that in spite of the sharper debates here at the end, that everybody goes home singing Kumbaya.Full Story
The legislative session is in its last month and most bills will die. But setbacks for the big stuff — water, transportation and the like — are usually temporary.Full Story
Budget decisions revolve around numbers, but talking about money is just a way to talk about policy. Consider the case of volunteer fire departments.Full Story
A $250 million franchise and sales tax exemption for business research and development won tentative approval from the House on Wednesday. A similar exemption expired in 2006.Full Story
House members on Wednesday passed two bills that take aim at the practice of budget diversions, in which fees collected for specific purposes are used in another manner. The measures now go to the Senate.Full Story
The best way to finance Texas' pressing water and transportation needs — and to supplement spending on public education — is to let voters decide whether to use the state's Rainy Day Fund.Full Story
The day after the leading measure to fund state water projects stumbled in the House, legislators shifted their focus to a bill that some members hope will also include money for education.Full Story
The rough seas that sank the Texas House's attempt to fund the state water plan on Monday night with a $2 billion draw on the Rainy Day Fund highlighted the limits of consensus on both how to pay for water development and whether it's a top priority.Full Story
Besides boosting the economies of remote towns, the shale boom has big implications for the Texas economy and budget. Already, taxes on oil and gas production have soared above the comptroller’s estimates.Full Story
Two years ago, lawmakers couldn't find the money they needed to run the government they had promised their voters. Now they have the money — and a completely different set of political problems.Full Story