On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: With just four weeks left in the legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry has jumped into the fight over spending billions on water, transportation and business tax cuts.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 ...
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
A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era.Full Story
A debate in the Texas House on a supplemental budget bill Friday veered into debates on the Travis County district attorney's drunken driving charge and the murder of two Kaufman County prosecutors.Full Story
Efforts by state lawmakers to find money to repair South and West Texas roads torn up amid a drilling boom appear to be stalling, according to some officials working on the matter. Officials warn about the hazards of not maintaining these roads.Full Story
Despite voting a second time in favor of continuing the Texas Lottery Commission on Wednesday, the majority of House members made clear that they would like to study how to wind down the agency.Full Story
After spending most of the day locked away in negotiations, the Senate unanimously approved a measure pulling $5.7 billion from the Rainy Day Fund for water and road projects and public education.Full Story
UPDATED: After unexpectedly voting to end the Texas Lottery Commission earlier Tuesday, the Texas House reversed course Tuesday afternoon with a vote to continue the commission.Full Story
For this week’s nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about transportation and, more specifically, how to pay for expansion and maintenance of the state’s transportation infrastructure.Full Story
All but 10 percent of a nearly $1 billion state fund intended to assist the poor with utility payments would be rebated to electric customers under a measure that preliminarily passed the Texas Senate on Monday.
The House on Monday sent five members to negotiate a budget with the Senate, with instructions to avoid anything that looks like it would expand the state's Medicaid program.Full Story
Aaronson tracks the latest on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on lawmakers’ openness to driving permits for non-citizens, Batheja on surprising support for higher state spending, Root and Galbraith on the state’s search for answers after the West explosion, M. Smith covers the debate over high school standards, Grissom finds a shadow payroll at the Capitol, Hamilton on the man with a plan at UT, Rocha spots a special deal for lawmakers accused of crimes, KUT’s Philpott on obstacles to road funding and Ramshaw on the privileges of legislative membership: The best of our best for the week of April 15-19, 2013.Full Story
The House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved an $874.9 million supplemental budget bill Thursday that includes $500 million more for schools and covers bills for last year's wildfires.Full Story
A couple of Democrats won election in 2012 talking about education, but that doesn't mean the issue was a silver bullet for the minority party. Lots of others talked about it and lost, and the two who won were victorious in districts favorable to them.Full Story
The state's Rainy Day Fund should be kept as insurance against real financial downturns. If the state needs money for water programs, it should get that money by cutting other programs that are less important.Full Story
The Rainy Day Fund has been used for public education before and should be used for it now — to reverse drastic cuts made in education spending during the 2011 legislative session.Full Story
It's proper to use the state's Rainy Day Fund for a $2 billion water plan, but it isn't necessary until 2015, and using it now would force lawmakers to bust the constitutional cap on budget growth.Full Story
Using the Rainy Day Fund now will help address the state's water needs and keep general state spending on water down for decades to come.Full Story