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 ...

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Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.

Liveblog: What's Left for the 83rd Legislature

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. 

 

State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, votes 'aye' to table certain instructions to conferees on HB1 budget bill on May 6, 2011.
State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, votes 'aye' to table certain instructions to conferees on HB1 budget bill on May 6, 2011.

Polling Center: Budget Endgames and Public Opinion

The public doesn't closely follow legislative debates over the budget, but sometimes those budget debates line up pretty accurately with public opinion.

State. Sen Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, negotiates with a group of senators, including John Whitmire, D-Houston, on a prison health care measure on April 2, 2013.
State. Sen Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, negotiates with a group of senators, including John Whitmire, D-Houston, on a prison health care measure on April 2, 2013.

Texas House, Senate Negotiators Reach Deal on Budget

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.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, l, R-Waxahachie, and Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, at the early morning meeting on May 17, 2013.
House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, l, R-Waxahachie, and Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, at the early morning meeting on May 17, 2013.

House Democrats: Budget Deal Still Not in Place

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.

 

Interactive: Track Franchise Tax Bills

Tax relief has become a key issue in the final weeks of the legislative session, and nearly all of the efforts are focused on the franchise tax paid by businesses. Gov. Rick Perry offered his own plan for $1.6 billion in franchise tax relief in April and has threatened to call a special session if "significant" measures don't reach his desk. Use our interactive to track those bills.

TribLive at the Austin Club featuring State Sen. Tommy Williams and State Rep. Jim Pitts on financial issues facing the 83rd Texas Legislature.
TribLive at the Austin Club featuring State Sen. Tommy Williams and State Rep. Jim Pitts on financial issues facing the 83rd Texas Legislature.

A Well-Timed Budget Note From the Attorney General

Texas Weekly

Greg Abbott’s letter doesn’t have any new information in it, but the timing takes away what some — probably those further from the budget conversations than closer — saw as a possible solution for the Legislature’s financial logjam.

Abbott: Spending Limit Includes Rainy Day Fund

Spending from the state's Rainy Day Fund does, in fact, count against a constitutional limit on growth in the state budget, Attorney General Greg Abbott advised on Thursday. Texas budget writers can’t dip into the state’s savings account unless they either get voter approval or vote to ignore a state constitutional limit on spending, Abbott wrote in an opinion letter.