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 ...

Texas Senate approves its budget, shifting school costs to local taxpayers

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound celebrates after the budget bill passes unanimously on March 28, 2017
<p><span>Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound celebrates after the budget bill passes unanimously on March 28, 2017</span></p>

The Texas Senate passed budget that would shift $1.8 billion in public education costs to local taxpayers. “This is a lean budget, but it’s also a smart budget,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, the budget’s lead author. “It responsibly meets the needs of our state.”

Road crews were prolific in the Midland region in 2016 following an oil boom, when heavy truck traffic obliterated highways.
<p>Road crews were prolific in the Midland region in 2016 following an oil boom, when heavy truck traffic obliterated highways.</p>

Analysis: Is this Texas state budget trick constitutional?

The Texas Senate is proposing a new accounting trick to balance its 2018-19 budget. The contrivance would work, mathematically speaking, but it raises constitutional questions and faces derision from the House.

State Sens. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and John Whitmire, D-Houston, at a hearing on Senate Bill 2 on March 14, 2017.
State Sens. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and John Whitmire, D-Houston, at a hearing on Senate Bill 2 on March 14, 2017.

Texas Senate accounting maneuver finds $2.5B in budget; Straus calls it “cooking the books”

By delaying a diversion of sales tax money for transportation projects, Texas Senate leaders said they had an additional $2.5 billion to spend on needs such as health care and schools.

House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.
House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.

Analysis: The party in power in Texas acts more like two parties at war

The leadership battles in the Texas Legislature are often attributed to personalities — or to traditional House-Senate rivalries. But there's another factor: The Republicans in power are from different factions of their party.

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, answers questions regarding a lean Texas budget with an appearance at a Texas Tribune event on Feb. 23, 2017.
State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, answers questions regarding a lean Texas budget with an appearance at a Texas Tribune event on Feb. 23, 2017.

Texas House's chief budget writer: State shouldn't cut border security funding

The Texas’ House’s chief budget writer said that President Trump’s emergence in Washington shouldn’t give state lawmakers license to slice hefty appropriations for border security — at least not yet. 

 

Gov. Greg Abbott signs House Bill 4, which adds funding for pre-kindergarten, into law at the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin on May 28, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs House Bill 4, which adds funding for pre-kindergarten, into law at the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin on May 28, 2015.

House budget proposal would defund Gov. Abbott's pre-K program

The House has proposed cutting all funding for a pre-K grant program that Gov. Greg Abbott has discussed as a priority this legislative session — setting the stage for a battle in the Legislature.

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

With money tight, Texas budget writers eyeing billions approved by voters for roads

More than a year after Texas voters approved routing billions in state sales taxes to roads and bridges, some lawmakers are questioning whether the first payment of $5 billion should move forward as planned.

Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.
Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.

Analysis: Greg Abbott and the $200 million bully pulpit

Talking — the bully pulpit, as Teddy Roosevelt called it — is one of the biggest powers available to a Texas governor. Greg Abbott is trying to trim the state budget with a speech.

Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.
Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.

In State of State, Abbott imposes hiring freeze, declares 4 issues "emergencies"

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday asked lawmakers to immediately take on so-called "sanctuary cities," the state's broken child welfare system and a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Happy Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, watches passage of SB 1 budget bill on a 30-1 vote April 14, 2015.  Lone no vote was Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.
Happy Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, watches passage of SB 1 budget bill on a 30-1 vote April 14, 2015. Lone no vote was Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.

Texas university leaders warn of dire consequences if Senate budget is implemented

In a day-long hearing, university presidents and chancellors said their schools might have to lay off faculty and cut classes if hundreds of millions of dollars worth of "special items" aren't put back in the budget.