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 ...

Newsreel: Deadlines, Tax Cuts, Special Session

In the latest Texas Weekly Newsreel: With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, the deadlines are coming fast and furious, raising the stakes for negotiators on the budget, water, transportation, tax cuts and the Rainy Day Fund and prompting whispers of a special session if things don't get finished. 

TribLive at the Austin Club featuring State Sen. Tommy Williams and State Rep. Jim Pitts on financial issues facing the 83rd Texas Legislature.
TribLive at the Austin Club featuring State Sen. Tommy Williams and State Rep. Jim Pitts on financial issues facing the 83rd Texas Legislature.

A Well-Timed Budget Note From the Attorney General

Greg Abbott’s letter doesn’t have any new information in it, but the timing takes away what some — probably those further from the budget conversations than closer — saw as a possible solution for the Legislature’s financial logjam.

The crowded House floor during debate on SB 1 April 4, 2013.
The crowded House floor during debate on SB 1 April 4, 2013.

House OKs R&D Tax Credit

A $250 million franchise and sales tax exemption for business research and development won tentative approval from the House on Wednesday. A similar exemption expired in 2006. 

Statte Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, explains an education funding amendment to SB 1 while House sponsor Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, talks with state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, on April 4, 2013.
Statte Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, explains an education funding amendment to SB 1 while House sponsor Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, talks with state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, on April 4, 2013.

House Votes to Reduce Reliance on Budget Diversions

House members on Wednesday passed two bills that take aim at the practice of budget diversions, in which fees collected for specific purposes are used in another manner. The measures now go to the Senate.

A worker waits to load a piece of pipe, or casing, that will be lowered into the well at a Chesapeake Energy drill site in Dimmit County, Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale.
A worker waits to load a piece of pipe, or casing, that will be lowered into the well at a Chesapeake Energy drill site in Dimmit County, Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale.

State's Shale Boom Has Major Impact on Budget

Besides boosting the economies of remote towns, the shale boom has big implications for the Texas economy and budget. Already, taxes on oil and gas production have soared above the comptroller’s estimates. 

The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A Conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.
The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A Conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.

Agenda Texas: Perry Joins the Fight

On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: With just four weeks left in the legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry has jumped into the fight over spending billions on water, transportation and business tax cuts.

In his Jan. 29, 2013, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.
In his Jan. 29, 2013, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.

Perry Willing to Call Special Session

Gov. Rick Perry is warning state legislators that it could be a long, hot summer in Austin if they don’t pass his top priorities: funding water and transportation projects and cutting business taxes. 

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

Cash for Road Repair in Shale Areas Proves Elusive

Efforts by state lawmakers to find money to repair South and West Texas roads torn up amid a drilling boom appear to be stalling, according to some officials working on the matter. Officials warn about the hazards of not maintaining these roads.

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.