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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Day 5: Budget Cuts Final Straw for Air Ambulance

Throughout August, The Texas Tribune will feature 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature — including the dramatically reduced budget — take effect. DAY 5: The Rio Grande Valley’s longest-running helicopter ambulance will be permanently grounded this fall, and state budget cuts were the final straw.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 7/25/11

Aaronson examines the Texas jobs "miracle," Root on how Rick Perry built his financial portfolio, Tan and Wiseman on Perry vs. Ron Paul, Philpott on how budget cuts will affect a mental health provider, yours truly on a House freshman who was less than impressed with his first legislative experience, M. Smith on public schools charging for things that used to be free, Hamilton on a new call to reinvent higher education, Grissom on a rare stay of execution, Galbraith on the end of a Panhandle wind program, Aguilar on the increase of legal immigration into the U.S. and Texas: The best of our best content from July 25 to 29, 2011.

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.

Sine Die Report: What Survived, What Died

The Trib's been keeping track of the key issues throughout the special session. From budget measures to school finance, health care and airport groping, here's our final rundown of bills that passed, and the ones that died. 



The Last Seven Days: A Special Session Update

The Tribune counts down to the end of the special session with updates on where the major issues added to the agenda by Gov. Rick Perry stand. Three weeks in, some bills are headed to the governor's desk. Others have only cleared one chamber. A few are headed to conference committee, where lawmakers will negotiate the differences. And one major unresolved bill threatens to push the House and Senate into yet another special session. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 6/13/11

Aaronson and Murphy visualize what happened to the nearly 5,800 bills introduced in the 82nd Lege Session, Aaronson, Hasson and Swicegood interactively recap the budget battle, Aguliar on the surge in illegal re-entry cases prosecuted by the Obama administration, Galbraith on a coal plant that wants a water deal from the LCRA, Grissom interviews a man wrongly imprisoned and nearly executed — twice, Hamilton on a controversial UT regent who wants a do-over in the debate over higher ed reform, Ramshaw on the continuing fight over pre-abortion sonograms, Root on Rick Perry's newsmaking trip to NYC and M. Smith on whether cash-strapped school districts will raise taxes: The best of our best content from June 13 to 17, 2011.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, moves away from the podium after moving to briefly postpone discussion on SB1 the budget bill on June 9, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, moves away from the podium after moving to briefly postpone discussion on SB1 the budget bill on June 9, 2011.

Fiscal Conservatives Frustrated With House Votes

 Rep. Donna Howard's proposal to direct surplus Rainy Day Fund money to Texas schools for enrollment growth survived to fight another day during debate on the House floor this morning, but not before a Republican attempt to derail it.

State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, listens to testimony during a House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing on April 5, 2011.
State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, listens to testimony during a House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing on April 5, 2011.

After 16 Hours, Texas House Passes Fiscal Bill

Lengthy debate on a key budget bill featured many retreads of contentious topics from the regular session — but it was Rep. Wayne Christian's revival of his famous "pansexual" amendment around midnight that almost killed the whole thing.

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, during her filibuster at the end of the the 82nd legislature on Sunday, June 3, 2011. The action, in opposition to $4 billion in cuts to education, tipped lawmakers into an immediate special session.
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, during her filibuster at the end of the the 82nd legislature on Sunday, June 3, 2011. The action, in opposition to $4 billion in cuts to education, tipped lawmakers into an immediate special session.

Filibuster Propels Wendy Davis Into Spotlight

Sen. Wendy Davis' controversial decision to torpedo the legislative session with a filibuster has catapulted the Fort Worth Democrat into the spotlight. She's seized it to try to mobilize outnumbered Democrats and to take jabs a Gov. Rick Perry’s rumored presidential aspirations.

Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan on June 3rd, 2011
Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan on June 3rd, 2011

This Time, Texas Budget Bills Sail Through Senate

After last ditch efforts from Democrats to increase funding for schools through closing tax loopholes and tapping the Rainy Day Fund failed, two budget bills quickly cleared the Texas Senate Friday night. And the Texas Supreme Court scored an important victory, as state Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, amended his general apropriations to include $17 million for civil legal aid for the poor and $7 million in indigent criminal defense.

State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, pauses during Memorial Day services in the House chamber on Saturday that honored fallen Texas soldiers.
State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, pauses during Memorial Day services in the House chamber on Saturday that honored fallen Texas soldiers.

Liveblog: Texas Legislature Passes $15 Billion In Cuts

Texas lawmakers passed a two-year state budget on Saturday that cuts $15.2 billion from current spending — most of that in health and human services — but avoids increased taxes and leaves $6.5 billion untouched in the state's Rainy Day Fund. The vote in the House was 97-53 and 20-11 in the Senate. Click here to read our reports from both chambers as the debate unfolded. 

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts (l), R-Waxahachie, and Senate Finance Chaigman Steve Ogden (r), R-Bryan, talk to the press after the conference committee vote on HB1 on May 26, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts (l), R-Waxahachie, and Senate Finance Chaigman Steve Ogden (r), R-Bryan, talk to the press after the conference committee vote on HB1 on May 26, 2011.

In Texas, a Businesslike Budget, After a Fashion

When Texas lawmakers said they wanted to run government like a business, they left out the part about using Enron and Countrywide as their models.

Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden (l), R-Bryan, and State Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie), share a laugh after the Appropriations Conference Committee passed out HB1 on a 9-1 vote on May 26, 2011.
Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden (l), R-Bryan, and State Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie), share a laugh after the Appropriations Conference Committee passed out HB1 on a 9-1 vote on May 26, 2011.

Texas Budget Negotiators Pass $15 Billion in Cuts

Budget negotiators adopted a report Thursday that cuts state spending by $15 billion. The measure is scheduled for a vote on the House and Senate floors as early as Saturday afternoon. Key fiscal bills, including SB 1811, must still be passed to fund the budget.

Rep. Rob Eissler R-The Woodlands, Public Education Committee Charman,  speaks to reporters on May 23rd, 2011
Rep. Rob Eissler R-The Woodlands, Public Education Committee Charman, speaks to reporters on May 23rd, 2011

Budget Notes: Racing to Finish School Finance

One day after the education fiscal bill, SB 1581, died on the floor of the House, lawmakers are scrambling to reach a deal and keep the budget bill, HB 1, on track for approval by both chambers before the weekend deadline. The governor is among the optimists who think they'll finish their work without going into overtime.

Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011
Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011

Budget Notes: Ogden, Pitts Plan Weekend Vote

The lead budget writers from the House and Senate answered questions about the budget they've agreed upon, admitting they don't have all of the details yet and saying they could vote on the final plan this coming weekend.

Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011
Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011

Budget Negotiators Agree on Education Funding

House and Senate negotiators agreed on spending on education, state salaries and benefits this morning and hope to have the final vote on the 2012-13 budget sometime this weekend.

No Clear Signals on Budget, UT/TT Poll Finds

Four months of hearing about the state's budget problems hasn't changed the minds of Texas voters. According to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, registered voters still want lawmakers to cut the budget, but they still oppose the major cuts in education and health and human services that cutting the budget requires.

Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer, a college counselor assisting Max Garcia and Znobea Williams on financial aids acceptance.
Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer, a college counselor assisting Max Garcia and Znobea Williams on financial aids acceptance.

Texas Students Wait for Word on College Grants

The Texas Legislature made a promise to the state’s most financially needy high school seniors in 1999: Money will not be a barrier to your higher education at a public college or university if you stay out of trouble, complete certain courses and graduate from high school. But the budget crisis has thrown that pledge into question, and thousands of students have put their college plans on hold for now. 

State Sen. Steve Ogden (l), R-Bryan, talks with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (r) during debate on SB1581 a fiscal matters bill in the Texas Senate chamber on May 20, 2011.
State Sen. Steve Ogden (l), R-Bryan, talks with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (r) during debate on SB1581 a fiscal matters bill in the Texas Senate chamber on May 20, 2011.

The Budget: Where Everything Stands

Where did the time go? Texas legislators are a mere nine days away from the end of the session and still have to finish work on several bills to finish up their budget for the two-year period that starts September 1.

State Sen. Steve Ogden (r) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, visits in the House chamber with State Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, while he waits to visit with State Rep. Jim Pitts on May 18, 2011.
State Sen. Steve Ogden (r) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, visits in the House chamber with State Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, while he waits to visit with State Rep. Jim Pitts on May 18, 2011.

Texas Budget Stalls Over Education, Funding Sources

After a chaotic day of stops and starts and private meetings, Texas lawmakers don't have a budget deal yet. Unless key pieces of legislation are passed soon, lawmakers are almost guaranteed to be back this summer for a special session.

Video: Ogden- Special Session Likely

Senate Finance Chair Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, says there is still no consensus on education funding or SB 1811, a revenue bill that would balance the state budget. Meanwhile, GOP members of the House left a caucus meeting without divulging details of what they discussed and then the House postponed consideration of two fiscal bills critical to the budget until tomorrow. "So, we're stuck," Ogden said.

Liveblog: Will Texas House Take Up Fiscal Bills?

State reps will try to  hang a grab bag of amendments onto Senate Bills 1811 and 1581 — two critical pieces of legislation the House takes up today that could determine whether a budget is passed and a special session averted — because the bills are broadly defined as “relating to certain fiscal matters.” Check back here for our liveblog of the action on the floor. 

State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, speaks to the press after the Senate session on May 16, 2011.
State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, speaks to the press after the Senate session on May 16, 2011.

Ogden, Straus Differ on State Budget Progress

As of Wednesday afternoon, two powerful budget figures differed on the status of the budget process. Senate Finance Chair Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, accused the House of postponing important votes on SB 1811 and SB 1581. Speaker Joe Straus tried to ease the tension by stating, "We've been close, but we're not there."