Tribpedia: Budget

Tribpedia

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 ...

Read More...

Texas Budget Players in Race to Find New Revenue

The Big Men on Campus in the school known as the Texas Legislature have the unenviable job of finding money to alleviate the massive cuts outlined in House Bill 1, the general appropriations bill for the next biennium. Nearly 90 days into the session, lawmakers are playing a sometimes unorganized political game where the stakes are high and changes can happen quickly.

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan and Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan and Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.

It's Senate vs. Austerity in Fight Over Budget

The betting game has already begun on whether the budget battle between a more moderate Senate and a far stingier House will lead to a standoff — and a special session in the summer. The two budget committee chairmen refuse to say whether one body may have more sway than the other in the final outcome. 

A copy of HB1 and its amendments sits on the desk of State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, on April 1, 2011
A copy of HB1 and its amendments sits on the desk of State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, on April 1, 2011

Senate List of $5.5 Billion in Revenue Proposals Leaked

Texas senators scratching for new state revenue canceled a meeting to talk about their options today, but a copy of their list got loose — and it includes $5.5 billion in taxes, fees, asset sales and accounting tricks that could be used to ease their budget problems.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011

Pitts Talks, Gently, of Adding to Texas Budget

Less than two days after approving a state budget that cuts $23 billion from current spending, Rep. Jim Pitts says House leaders are already talking among themselves about how much more money they'd be willing to spend. 

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, speaks with Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, on the House floor during the budget debate.
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, speaks with Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, on the House floor during the budget debate.

House Budget Shrinks Spending, Slashes Services

The Texas House started with a $164.5 billion budget and ended with the same total. But lawmakers spent the better part of a weekend making changes inside the budget for 2012-13 before giving it their approval, 98 to 49.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011

Politics, Not Just Numbers, in Budget Amendments

Numbers aren’t all that’s buried in the budget. Lawmakers have filed hundreds of amendments that are political in nature, from repealing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants to trying to push Planned Parenthood out of the family planning business. 

Developer Jack E. Pratt, Sr., chairman of the Texas Gaming Association, speaks to the press on March 28, 2011.
Developer Jack E. Pratt, Sr., chairman of the Texas Gaming Association, speaks to the press on March 28, 2011.

Jack Pratt: The TT Interview

The head of the Texas Gaming Association, who's trying to convince Texas lawmakers to legalize casinos, on what's different this year, what he says to people who just don't like gambing, and how his likes his chances.