Tribpedia: Budget

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 ...

An advocate for restricting funds for toll-roads in Texas attends a rally March 23rd, 2015
An advocate for restricting funds for toll-roads in Texas attends a rally March 23rd, 2015

Toll Road Projects in Limbo Following Session

Texas' network of tolled highways totals more than 500 miles, but its growth was curtailed this session as lawmakers passed several measures making it tougher for toll projects to move forward. Some fast-growing communities are scrambling to find new funding avenues for highway expansion projects with uncertain futures.

(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.
(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.

Effort to Tighten Spending Cap Dies

The state’s constitutional spending cap will remain untouched this session, and House and Senate leaders are blaming each other for the lack of action on the arcane but politically important measure.

Speaker Joe Straus on April 17th, 2015 during debate of HB 910
Speaker Joe Straus on April 17th, 2015 during debate of HB 910

Final Bill in $3.8 Billion Tax Cut Deal Sent to Abbott's Desk

The Texas House sent a bill increasing the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 — if voters approve it — to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk on Friday, the last part of a $3.8 billion tax cut deal that includes property tax relief and a reduction in the franchise tax rate paid by businesses. 

 

(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.
(L-R) State House Speaker Joe Straus, Governor Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick on May 21, 2015.

House Sends Franchise Tax Cut to Abbott

Defusing Gov. Greg Abbott’s first public veto threat, lawmakers sent a bill cutting the business franchise tax to his desk Thursday. The House also sent Abbott a bill plugging holes in the 2014-15 budget.

Phil Collins with his collection of Alamo artifacts at his home in Switzerland.
Phil Collins with his collection of Alamo artifacts at his home in Switzerland.

Budget Deal Includes $25 Million Boost for Alamo

Budget writers have added some last-minute cash for the Alamo to spiff up the Texas shrine and its surroundings, in large part to ensure that the state holds on to a collection of Alamo artifacts from British music legend Phil Collins.

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

House, Senate Negotiators Reach Deal on Budget

Top House and Senate negotiators sealed up the final unresolved issues on a two-year budget deal on Thursday evening, including removing controversial language that would have killed a proposed Dallas-Houston bullet train.