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 ...

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

A Closer Look at Budget Conference Committee Members

The budget conference committee will hash out a compromise of the chamber’s respective 2016-17 budget plans. Committee members include two Democrats who rank as the most experienced budget negotiators on the panel.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.

House Passes $4.9 Billion Tax Cut

The Texas House tentatively approved a $4.9 billion tax relief plan Tuesday that includes a cut to the state’s sales tax, marking a clear line in the sand against the Senate, which favors property tax cuts.

 

Speaker Joe Straus on the floor of the Texas House on April 17, 2015.
Speaker Joe Straus on the floor of the Texas House on April 17, 2015.

Straus Taps House Team for Budget Negotiations

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus Wednesday named his five-member team to craft a final budget for the next two years, and House members urged the team not to focus on tax cuts — a contentious issue between the House and Senate.

Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference with Ellen Wood, president and CEO of vcfo on his plans to greatly reduce the Texas business franchise tax, on April 15, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference with Ellen Wood, president and CEO of vcfo on his plans to greatly reduce the Texas business franchise tax, on April 15, 2015.

Analysis: Abbott Wants a Tax Cut Without Picking Sides

As the House and Senate continue their "robust discussion" over whether to cut sales or property taxes, Gov. Greg Abbott touted his own preference, along with a way to avoid the fight: business tax cuts, along with whatever legislators decide.

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touted legislation to exempt tax cuts from counting toward the state spending limit at a Capitol press conference on March 10, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touted legislation to exempt tax cuts from counting toward the state spending limit at a Capitol press conference on March 10, 2015.

Short on Votes to Tighten Spending Cap, Senate Built a New One

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Republicans had hoped to amend the Texas Constitution to tighten the state's spending cap. Short of the needed votes, they passed a measure creating a new cap in state law instead.

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.

Senate Passes Bill That Would Tighten Spending Cap

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would tighten the state's constitutional spending cap and make it tougher for future legislatures to break it. Senate Bill 9, by Sen. Kelly Hancock, passed with a vote of 19-12. 

 

State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, speaks during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on April 9, 2015.
State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, speaks during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on April 9, 2015.

Analysis: Something More Conservative Than Tax Cuts?

As the House and Senate engage in what state Sen. Kevin Eltife calls "a bidding war" over cuts to sales and property taxes, the Tyler Republican is sticking to his guns: He thinks lawmakers should look at neglected projects before they cut taxes.