Tribpedia: Rainy Day Fund

Tribpedia

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 ...

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Is David Dewhurst Goofy — or Goofy Like a Fox?

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst listens to members after the Texas Senate voted, 19-12, to pass the budget on May 4, 2011.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst listens to members after the Texas Senate voted, 19-12, to pass the budget on May 4, 2011.

It’s funny that you can win four statewide elections and still have people think you’re a goofball, in over your head. But maybe Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s fumbles leading to the Texas Senate’s budget vote give the lie to that. Maybe he’s goofy like a fox.

Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011.

Perry on Senate Budget, Sanctuary Cities and Rainy Days

The governor told a press gaggle today that the Senate budget vote is a "step in right direction," that he hasn't decided whether to appeal FEMA's disaster declaration denial — and that big-city police chiefs who oppose sanctuary city legislation must not have been listening last Election Day.

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.

Procedural Move Allows GOP to Pass Senate Budget

The $176 billion dollar budget makes cuts to all state agencies, but does spend about $12 billion more than the House does in its bill. The budget passed along party lines, with all 19 Republicans voting for the bill and the 12 Democrats voting against.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, looks for votes on CSSB1582  a spending bill on April 28, 2011.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, looks for votes on CSSB1582 a spending bill on April 28, 2011.

Senators Still Searching for Budget Support

Sen. Steve Ogden is still looking for 20 fellow senators willing to start the debate on the state budget. It takes 21 to bring it up for consideration, and efforts to get that number together have fallen short for more than a week. Now, with less than a month left in the legislative session and the debate on redistricting on hold until after the budget has come to a vote, the pressure is on.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (c) goes over legislation with colleagues on the Senate floor April 18, 2011
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (c) goes over legislation with colleagues on the Senate floor April 18, 2011

Dewhurst Makes Budget Pitch to Senators

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, trying to build enough support to bring a proposed state budget up for consideration this week, appealed in writing to state senators, supporting the plan and a provision that would allow the state to spend $3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to make it balance.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/18/11

Aaronson on a freshman lawmaker's rogue antics, Aguilar on how cartel violence affects tick eradication, Galbraith on Midland's water woes, Hamilton on the exit of a higher ed reformer, Murphy maps voting age by county, Philpott on the data breach at the Comptroller's office, Ramsey on why Susan Combs needs to eat crow, my TribLive interview with U.S. Sen John Cornyn, Ramshaw on Cornyn's refusal to take the "nickel tour" of Planned Parenthood, M. Smith annotates the contracts of superintendents, Stiles on a GOP-friendly redistricting map and Tan on a possible Rainy Day Fund raid: The best of our best content from April 18 to 22, 2011.

A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.
A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.

Senate Panel Approves $176.5 Billion Budget

A $176.5 billion budget for the 2012-13 biennium — 5.9 percent smaller than the current budget but almost $12 billion larger than the version passed earlier by the House — won approval from the Senate Finance Committee Thursday morning and will come to a full Senate vote after the Easter break. And, unlike the House version, the Senate would use up to $3.1 billion from the Rainy Day Fund.

Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.
Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.

House Gives Early OK to Bills Balancing '11 Budget

House lawmakers voted 100-46 this afternoon to preliminarily pass HB 4, one of two bills that together would balance the state's budget for the remaining months of the fiscal year through a mix of spending cuts and use of the Rainy Day Fund. The cuts were in the first bill. By Thursday evening, the House passed HB 275, which would use $3.1 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund. (See our liveblog here.)

Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.
Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.

LiveBlog: House Debates Budget Bills

We're liveblogging from the House floor, where lawmakers are expected to vote on HB 4 and HB 275, two bills that would balance the Fiscal Year 2011 budget and authorize lawmakers to withdraw $3.1 billion from the Rainy Day Fund. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/21/11

M. Smith on the continuing controversy over Beaumont's school administrators, Tan on the deepening divide over the consequences of the House budget, Hamilton on the latest in the fight over higher ed accountability, Grissom on young inmates in adult prisons, Aguilar on the voter ID end game, Tan and Hasson's Rainy Day Fund infographic, Ramsey on the coming conflict over school district reserves, M. Smith and Aguilar on Laredo ISD's missing Social Security numbers, Galbraith on environmental regulators bracing for budget cuts and Ramshaw on greater scrutiny of neonatal intensive care units: The best of our best content from March 21 to 25, 2011.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

Texas Senate, Facing Tight Budget, Hunts for Revenue

The Texas Senate isn’t allowed to raise money. It’s right there in the state’s Constitution, which says all revenue bills must originate in the House. But there it goes, looking for “non-tax revenues” that could be used to put enough meat on the skimpy proposed budget to get senators to vote for it.

Infographic: Rainy Day Politics In Texas

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Should legislators tap the Rainy Day Fund to cover this year's $4.3 billion deficit — and should they resort to it again to help close a massive shortfall in the next biennium's budget? As lawmakers draft their 2012-13 budgets, use our infographic to understand the intent of the Rainy Day Fund, what it takes to draw from it, and the political arguments for and against using it. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Mar. 14, 2011

Grissom on threats to re-entry programs for criminals, Hamilton on the tempest over the direction of UT, E. Smith's interview with Joe Straus, Stiles and Chang's new lobbying app, M. Smith and Weber on where state officeholders send their children to school, Aaronson on allowing new nuclear power plants, Aguilar on how Hispanic Republicans are handling immigration issues, Ramshaw talks abortion with Planned Parennthood's Cecile Richards, Tan and Dehn on tapping the Rainy Day Fund and Galbraith on San Antonio and its water: The best of our best content from March 14 to 18, 2011.

Will Texas House Support Rainy Day Compromise?

It took days of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a public blessing from the governor for the House Appropriations Committee to tap the Rainy Day Fund for $3.1 billion. That amount only covers the current fiscal year's deficit. Now, the questions are whether the measure has 90 votes to move on to the Senate — and how much the process of getting there may damage an even bigger task for lawmakers: setting the next biennium's budget.

State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, lays out House Bill 1.
State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, lays out House Bill 1.

Lacking Perry OK, Pitts Ends Rainy Day Fund Hearing

House Appropriatons Chair Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, thought he had a deal with Gov. Rick Perry and his staff to tap the Rainy Day Fund to close the current biennium shortfall. But with no public support from the governor's office, Pitts adjourned his hearing.