Tribpedia: Legislative Budget Board

Tribpedia

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 ...

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LBB's Budget-Balancing Proposals

The Legislative Budget Board has begun distributing (to legislators — not to the public) its recommendations for how to save money and raise money to help balance the 2012-13 state budget. They plan to distribute copies of the budget itself (again, to lawmakers only) later tonight, and all of the documents will be available online to the public tomorrow morning. The details are still coming in, but here are some of the headlines from the LBB's Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Recommendations.

Details of Budget Proposals Begin to Seep Out

The Legislature's starting budget will apparently include proposals to cancel popular back-to-school sales tax holidays, cut discounts for retailers who remit sales taxes early, allow sales of liquor on Sundays to increase revenue from taxes on alcohol, cut the state's subsidy of dependent insurance premiums for state employees and lower the tax breaks for energy companies that take on certain high-cost gas drilling projects, sources say.

Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.
Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.

Comptroller Estimates Available Revenue

The state will have $77.3 billion in general revenue during the next two-year budget cycle, Comptroller Susan Combs said this morning. The comptroller estimated the Rainy Day Fund will have $9.4 billion in it at the end of the 2012-2013 biennium and that the size of the current deficit is $4.3 billion.

Some Eying Sales Tax Increase to Plug Budget Hole

It's not hard to find strange bedfellows in the Texas Legislature when the bills start flying. Republicans and Democrats frequently cross the aisle to support legislation that they feel will help their constituents. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the same could be true as lawmakers try to figure out how to balance the state budget during the upcoming legislative session.

Some Eying Sales Tax Increase to Plug Budget Hole

It's not hard to find strange bedfellows in the Texas Legislature when the bills start flying. Republicans and Democrats frequently cross the aisle to support legislation that they feel will help their constituents. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the same could be true as lawmakers try to figure out how to balance the state budget.  

Texas Budget Shortfall Grows as Stimulus Ends

The Legislative Budget Board says the state used about $14 billion in federal stimulus money to balance to budget in the current biennium. Lawmakers warned state agencies that those dollars were to be used for one-time expenditures only, but not all agencies followed that advice. With the next biennium's shortfall projected to be as much as $21 billion and no new fed-stim money available, what to do? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Texas Tribune Weekly Political Podcast: Ep 46

In our first TribCast recorded in front of a live studio audience, Evan, Ross, Elise and Ben discuss the results of the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, Gov. Rick Perry's new TV ad and the state's looming budget deficit — is it even bigger than we thought?

Documents Reveal Deficit in Texas State Budget

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.

McCown, Heflin Debate Texas Budget Shortfall

The executive director of the progressive Center for Public Policy Priorities and the director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, debate the best way to dig out of Texas' multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall.
Scott McCown and Talmadge Heflin
Scott McCown and Talmadge Heflin

Conservative, Progressive Debate Texas Budget Shortfall

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.

State Employee Insurance Faces Benefit Cuts

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.

Garner State Park
Garner State Park

State Park Repairs to Happen This Summer

The sound of clanging and banging construction equipment may interrupt the tranquil noises of nature for Texas campers this spring and summer.

Cuts Could Mean Longer Wait for Mental Health Beds

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.

State Leaders Ask Agencies to Cut Five Percent

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."