The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) is a permanant joint committee that establishes budgetary recommendations for the Legislature regarding state agencies and estimates the resulting costs in proposed legislation.
According to the Handbook of Texas Online, a publication of the Texas State Historical Association:
"The board appoints the budget director, who prepares the budgetary requests of all state spending agencies as ...
Comptroller Susan Combs' quiet acknowledgment that Texas will show a $1.3 billion deficit at the end of the budget year contrasts with the happy face she's put on state finances leading up to the 2010 elections. The numbers are the worst since 2003, when the Legislature responded with $10 billion in spending cuts, and increased fees, tuition and other revenue sources.Full Story
While the right and left don't agree on much, both sides stipulate that the state's budget mess is a multibillion-dollar problem. In the debut of our new video series, the executive director of the progressive Center for Public Policy Priorities, former state district judge Scott McCown, and the director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, former state Rep. Talmadge Heflin, debate the best way to dig us out of the hole — and how we got into it in the first place.Full Story
Forecasters pegging a looming state budget shortfall at $18 billion don't have Gov. Rick Perry particularly worried.Full Story
Texas lawmakers have been fishing for ideas on how to fill a looming budget deficit when they return to Austin in 2011. Based on new projections out today, they’re gonna need a bigger boat.Full Story
The insurance plan for state employees will have a $140.4 million shortfall next year — and that's the least of its problems. The projected shortfall for the two years after that is $880 million, and it will take another $476 million to replenish the legally required contingency fund. The Employee Retirement System and state leaders are surprisingly mellow about the red ink, saying growth in the cost of health benefits has actually stabilized at around 9 percent. But steady and large increases in costs threaten to erode the program, leaving policymakers to consider cuts in benefits, to negotiate lower prices or to find vast amounts of new money.Full Story
If history is any guide, the Legislature will turn to accounting illusions to mask large portions of a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion. Trouble is, such trickery is a bet on the economy roaring back to life — and that's no sure thing.Full Story
Start with a shortfall and a Legislature that doesn't want to raise taxes, then dangle budget-balancing money from "volunteers" — a.k.a., gamblers. With that strategy, promoters think they've got their best shot in years to legalize slot machines while adding $1 billion a year to state revenues.Full Story
The sound of clanging and banging construction equipment may interrupt the tranquil noises of nature for Texas campers this spring and summer.Full Story
The wait to get into one of Texas' 10 state mental hospitals — already long — may be about to get longer. Last month, as part of its attempt to comply with Gov. Rick Perry’s request that each state agency reduce its budget by 5 percent, the Department of State Health Services proposed eliminating 50 beds from four of the state's 10 mental hospitals: San Antonio, Rusk, Terrell and North Texas Wichita. The state's mental hospitals are already almost at full capacity, with nearly 2,500 self-admitted patients and allegedly criminal patients awaiting treatment so they can stand trial.Full Story
How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.Full Story
No surprise here, but still: State leaders want state agencies to cut five percent from their current budgets "due to the uncertainty of the state's short-term economic future, as well as potentially substantial long-term costs associated with the passage of federal legislation currently being debated in Washington, D.C."Full Story