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 ...

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.

State Rep. Hubert Vo, l, D-Alief, and Chairman state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, vote to table an amendment to SB 1 on April 4, 2013.
State Rep. Hubert Vo, l, D-Alief, and Chairman state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, vote to table an amendment to SB 1 on April 4, 2013.

The Brief: April 5, 2013

A few bursts of drama punctuated an otherwise tame day of debate over the House budget on Thursday.

Medical assistant Alesia Bolden checks Nereyda Penaloza's vital signs during a visit to Women's Health at CommUnityCare, a federally qualified health center, in Austin, Texas.
Medical assistant Alesia Bolden checks Nereyda Penaloza's vital signs during a visit to Women's Health at CommUnityCare, a federally qualified health center, in Austin, Texas.

House Members Pulling Women's Health Amendments

Amid Thursday's budget debate in the House, some Democratic and Republican members of the House have agreed to pull some divisive amendments related to women's health.

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.

Zerwas: House Medicaid Reform Bill Will Incorporate Williams' Plan

UPDATED: Rep. John Zerwas confirmed Wednesday that he will incorporate into his own Medicaid reform bill a proposal by Sen. Tommy Williams to use premium tax revenue to subsidize private health policies for the uninsured.

 

 

Fourth and fifth grade students at the Austin Discovery School.
Fourth and fifth grade students at the Austin Discovery School.

The Polling Center: No Backlash to Public Education Cuts?

Polling over the last two years from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune suggests that education has not become more salient to Texas voters, nor have perceptions of school quality suffered significantly.

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.