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 ...

State. Sen Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, negotiates with a group of senators, including John Whitmire, D-Houston, on a prison health care measure on April 2, 2013.
State. Sen Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, negotiates with a group of senators, including John Whitmire, D-Houston, on a prison health care measure on April 2, 2013.

Senate OKs Electric Rebates From Fund to Assist Poor

All but 10 percent of a nearly $1 billion state fund intended to assist the poor with utility payments would be rebated to electric customers under a measure that preliminarily passed the Texas Senate on Monday.

 

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.

Straus Picks Lead Budget Negotiators

The House on Monday sent five members to negotiate a budget with the Senate, with instructions to avoid anything that looks like it would expand the state's Medicaid program. 

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aaronson tracks the latest on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on lawmakers’ openness to driving permits for non-citizens, Batheja on surprising support for higher state spending, Root and Galbraith on the state’s search for answers after the West explosion, M. Smith covers the debate over high school standards, Grissom finds a shadow payroll at the Capitol, Hamilton on the man with a plan at UT, Rocha spots a special deal for lawmakers accused of crimes, KUT’s Philpott on obstacles to road funding and Ramshaw on the privileges of legislative membership: The best of our best for the week of April 15-19, 2013.

Gov. Rick Perry announces a 5 percent cut in the Texas franchise tax for small business on April 15, 2013. In the background are Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, Gary Farmer of the Austin Chamber and MIke Morrissey of the governor's staff.
Gov. Rick Perry announces a 5 percent cut in the Texas franchise tax for small business on April 15, 2013. In the background are Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, Gary Farmer of the Austin Chamber and MIke Morrissey of the governor's staff.

Perry Stuns Lawmakers by Urging House to Bust Spending Cap

UPDATE: Gov. Rick Perry told House Republicans in a private meeting this week that he could support a budget that breaks the state's constitutional spending cap, according to several attendees. But many are still wary of doing so.

Chris Perkins is a partner at the Republican polling firm Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.
Chris Perkins is a partner at the Republican polling firm Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.

Polling Center: Education Wasn't a Silver Bullet for Democrats

A couple of Democrats won election in 2012 talking about education, but that doesn't mean the issue was a silver bullet for the minority party. Lots of others talked about it and lost, and the two who won were victorious in districts favorable to them.

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.
Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.

Senate Sets Up Debate on Rainy Day Fund Spending

The full Texas Senate will consider a plan to spend about half of the projected $11.8 billion balance in the state's Rainy Day Fund for transportation and water projects, though Democrats plan to push for money for schools as well.

Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, has left the House, and would-be successors are lining up.
Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, has left the House, and would-be successors are lining up.

The Three-Party System

The House debate on the budget flushed out a new coalition in a Legislature split between traditional and populist Republicans, and Democrats. The losers? The populist Republicans, many of them freshmen.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, votes to table an amendment on SB 1 state budget bill on April 4, 2013.
State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, votes to table an amendment on SB 1 state budget bill on April 4, 2013.

The Playlist: We Can Work It Out

This week's news-inspired playlist is entirely dedicated to Thursday's budget debate in the Texas House. To set the stage, we begin with Stevie Wonder singing "We Can Work It Out."

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Batheja on a House budget without vouchers or Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on obstacles to a new power plant in El Paso, Permenter on deer breeder regulations, E. Smith’s interview with San Antonio’s Castro twins, Galbraith on proposals for new underground water reservoirs, Root finds holes in a UT regent's appointment files, M. Smith on a planned school rating system that defied recommendations, Murphy maps oil and gas disposal wells in Texas, Dehn on objections to a bigger Medicaid program and Hamilton on efforts to lure gun makers to Texas: The best of our best for the week of April 1-5, 2013.