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

Texas Weekly

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

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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: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/1/13

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.

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 Budget, Nixes Vouchers, Medicaid Expansion

Despite tense votes that may have killed school vouchers for the session and a serious setback for lawmakers who want to expand Medicaid, the Texas House overwhelmingly approved a budget after 12 hours of remarkably civil debate. The next stop will be a conference committee that will reconcile differences between the House and the Senate versions.

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.

In Bipartisan Truce, House Members Pulling 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 Bill Will Include Williams' Plan

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

 

 

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

Texas Weekly

With eight weeks to go in the legislative session, lawmakers got a running start at their big issues: water, education and the budget.

Cable and Satellite Providers Square Off Over Tax Break

Cable TV providers are asking lawmakers to let them out of $200 million in sales taxes to offset local franchise fees their satellite competitors don't have to pay. Some lawmakers are worried about the state programs that would go unfunded as a result. A proposal under discussion would free customers from taxes on the first $75 they pay for cable each month.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.

House Committee Backs Budget With More School Funding

The $193.8 billion budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee includes an extra $2.5 billion for public education. The bill is smaller than the Senate budget by about $1.7 billion.

Senators Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, l, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy,  Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio listen to SB 1 budget debate wrap-up on March 20, 2013.
Senators Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, l, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio listen to SB 1 budget debate wrap-up on March 20, 2013.

Senate Approves $195.5 Billion Budget, 29-2

The Texas Senate approved a $195.5 billion budget Wednesday that even supporters called an intermediate step toward a final spending plan for the next two years. Two Democrats voted against the budget, which restores some but not all of the cuts made to public education spending two years ago.