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 ...

Bill sponsor State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, is surrounded by members at the front mike while debate continues on HB 5 on March 26, 2013.
Bill sponsor State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, is surrounded by members at the front mike while debate continues on HB 5 on March 26, 2013.

A Head Start on the Big Stuff

With eight weeks to go in the legislative session, lawmakers got a running start at their big issues: water, education and the budget.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.

House Committee Backs Budget With More School Funding

The $193.8 billion budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee includes an extra $2.5 billion for public education. The bill is smaller than the Senate budget by about $1.7 billion.

Senators Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, l, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy,  Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio listen to SB 1 budget debate wrap-up on March 20, 2013.
Senators Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, l, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio listen to SB 1 budget debate wrap-up on March 20, 2013.

Senate Approves $195.5 Billion Budget, 29-2

The Texas Senate approved a $195.5 billion budget Wednesday that even supporters called an intermediate step toward a final spending plan for the next two years. 

House Speaker Joe Straus (l) shakes the hand of State Rep. Jim Pitts (r), R-Waxahachie, after the House passed HB1 the state budget, 97-53 late on May 28, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l) shakes the hand of State Rep. Jim Pitts (r), R-Waxahachie, after the House passed HB1 the state budget, 97-53 late on May 28, 2011.

House Sends Medicaid IOU Bill to Perry

House members unanimously approved a bill largely devoted to addressing a shortfall in Medicaid. Health providers for poor children and the disabled in Texas won't get paid starting Thursday unless Gov. Rick Perry signs the bill soon.

Both Texas and Virginia have amassed billions of dollars in debt over the last decade in order to fund transportation. In February 2013, Virginia lawmakers overhauled how the state funds transportation by cutting gas taxes and raising sales taxes.
Both Texas and Virginia have amassed billions of dollars in debt over the last decade in order to fund transportation. In February 2013, Virginia lawmakers overhauled how the state funds transportation by cutting gas taxes and raising sales taxes.

In Hunt for Roads Funds, Texas Won't Model Virginia

Texas lawmakers hope to follow in Virginia's footsteps this session and revamp the way they fund transportation. While Virginia opted to cut gas taxes and raise sales taxes, Texas is looking at other options.

House  Appropriations Chair, Rep. Jim Pitts R-Waxahachie with a big smile as he votes on House supplemental bill HB 10  on February 21st, 2013
House Appropriations Chair, Rep. Jim Pitts R-Waxahachie with a big smile as he votes on House supplemental bill HB 10 on February 21st, 2013

House Passes Bill to Address $4.5 Billion Medicaid IOU

With little debate on Thursday, House lawmakers passed House Bill 10, an emergency supplemental appropriations bill that needs to get to Gov. Rick Perry's desk by next month to avoid bills owed to medical workers going unpaid.

Recalled products, natural threats, choking hazards, and items that could cause emergencies when large amounts are ingested by children, are displayed at the South Texas Poison Center in San Antonio. Miguel Fernández, managing director of the center, is reflected in the display case glass.
Recalled products, natural threats, choking hazards, and items that could cause emergencies when large amounts are ingested by children, are displayed at the South Texas Poison Center in San Antonio. Miguel Fernández, managing director of the center, is reflected in the display case glass.

Emergency Services Agency Has Cash It Can't Spend

The agency that oversees the state’s 911 system and poison control centers has both too much money and not nearly enough. What’s more, every Texan with a phone is paying to keep it that way.

House members huddle at dais on February 14th, 2013
House members huddle at dais on February 14th, 2013

First Impressions

The Texas House is about to hold its first debate, and on a spending bill, to boot. It will pass, because it must. But watch how they work.

Rep. Jim Pitts R-Waxahachie, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, listens to Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer D-San Antonio on February 11th, 2013
Rep. Jim Pitts R-Waxahachie, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, listens to Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer D-San Antonio on February 11th, 2013

House Might Restore Some Education Budget Cuts

Members of the Texas House are in talks to add some money to public education in the current two-year budget. The Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion from education last session.