Tribpedia: Rainy Day Fund

The Rainy Day Fund is a savings fund that allows states to set aside excess revenue for use in times of unexpected revenue shortfall. It can plug holes in the budget, defend against an economic perfect storm and keep the deficit clouds at bay.

Using the fund itself isn’t particularly easy. If the comptroller says that revenue will decrease ...

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.

The crowded House floor during debate on SB 1 April 4, 2013.
The crowded House floor during debate on SB 1 April 4, 2013.

Agenda Texas: What's Left to Do?

On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: Water, transportation and education were priorities at the beginning of this year's legislative session, but how much progress has been made on each?

If the Legislature is in Town, Bills Aren't Dead

The legislative session is in its last month and most bills will die. But setbacks for the big stuff — water, transportation and the like — are usually temporary. Lawmakers love to take things to the brink of legislative death and then revive them. Then they go home to their districts to recount their fantastic and ingenious rescues of vital bills. 

State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, during a state budget debate on March 20, 2013.
State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, during a state budget debate on March 20, 2013.

Guest Column: Let Voters Decide on Rainy Day Spending

The best way to finance Texas' pressing water and transportation needs — and to supplement spending on public education — is to let voters decide whether to use the state's Rainy Day Fund. The Senate has approved a proposal that would accomplish that; now it's up to the House.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, says his 83rd session priorities will be education and water while speaking at TribLive on Feb. 6, 2013.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, says his 83rd session priorities will be education and water while speaking at TribLive on Feb. 6, 2013.

Straus: House Will Find Way to Fund Water Projects

UPDATED: The morning after a major bill to authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the House, Speaker Joe Straus' office released a statement saying he wouldn't "let a technicality seal the debate on water."

House Debate Over Water Bill Could Spur Bigger Fight

A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era. As some conservative activists are urging supporters to express opposition to the bill, Gov. Rick Perry has voiced his support for the measure.