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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This Time, Texas Budget Bills Sail Through Senate

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

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.

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. 

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.

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

Thousands of Texas students have been forced to put their college plans on hold as the Legislature, working on the state budget, determines what level of funding there will be for TEXAS Grants, the state's principal financial aid program for financially needy college students.

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.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking to the press about budget and education matters on May 17, 2011.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking to the press about budget and education matters on May 17, 2011.

Budget Leaders: It's Up to the Texas House

If the House doesn't pass legislation that adds $2.6 billion to state revenue with a mix of delayed payments, increased penalties, government efficiencies and the like, the state budget won't balance and a special session will probably be required, House and Senate leaders said today.

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 Votes $4 Billion From Rainy Day Fund for Deficit

The Texas Senate approved a $3.97 billion draw on the state's Rainy Day Fund to cover a deficit of the same size in the current budget, but not before rejecting efforts to add on a larger amount to help balance the 2012-13 budget.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/2/11

Aaronson on the latest attack on Planned Parenthood, Aguilar previews the sanctuary cities debate, Grissom on a death row inmate's unsuccessful appeal, Hamilton on the UT System's faculty "productivity" data dump, Philpott on the prospect of lawsuits over education cuts, Ramsey on puppies and other distractions, Ramshaw on a tobacco fight, my interview with the presidents of UT-Austin and Texas A&M, M. Smith on a former State Board of Ed member who may have violated state ethics law, Stiles interactively displays the effects of House redistricting and Tan on the Senate budget end game: The best of our best content from May 2 to 6, 2011.

House Appropriations Committee chairman, State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie (r), listens to debate on HB1 conferee's instructions on May 6, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee chairman, State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie (r), listens to debate on HB1 conferee's instructions on May 6, 2011.

House Sets Budget Negotiating Rules

The House is sending its five budget conferees — Reps. Jim Pitts, John Otto, Sylvester Turner, John Zerwas and Myra Crownover — off to negotiate with the Senate, but they want to tie their hands on certain issues, instructing them on what's acceptable to add, subtract or leave alone when they talk with the other side.