Tribpedia: Rainy Day Fund

The Rainy Day Fund is a savings fund that allows states to set aside excess revenue for use in times of unexpected revenue shortfall. It can plug holes in the budget, defend against an economic perfect storm and keep the deficit clouds at bay.

Using the fund itself isn’t particularly easy. If the comptroller says that revenue will decrease between ...

Liveblog: A Make-or-Break Day for the Budget

State Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, with a copy of the Texas House Practice rule book as he listens to debate on SB1811, the fiscal matters bill, on May 29, 2011.
State Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, with a copy of the Texas House Practice rule book as he listens to debate on SB1811, the fiscal matters bill, on May 29, 2011.

With less than two days left in the legislative session, lawmakers set out to pay for the budget by passing one more piece of legislation. Without that legislation — SB 1811 — the budget doesn't balance and lawmakers will be forced to come back in a special session. It passed in the House, but was undone by a Senate filibuster.

State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, pauses during Memorial Day services in the House chamber on Saturday that honored fallen Texas soldiers.
State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, pauses during Memorial Day services in the House chamber on Saturday that honored fallen Texas soldiers.

Liveblog: Lege Passes Budget Cuts of $15 Billion

Texas lawmakers passed a two-year state budget on Saturday that cuts $15.2 billion from current spending — most of that in health and human services — but avoids increased taxes and leaves $6.5 billion untouched in the state's Rainy Day Fund.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts (l), R-Waxahachie, and Senate Finance Chaigman Steve Ogden (r), R-Bryan, talk to the press after the conference committee vote on HB1 on May 26, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts (l), R-Waxahachie, and Senate Finance Chaigman Steve Ogden (r), R-Bryan, talk to the press after the conference committee vote on HB1 on May 26, 2011.

A Businesslike Budget, After a Fashion

When Texas lawmakers said they wanted to run government like a business, they left out the part about using Enron and Countrywide as their models.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking to the press about budget and education matters on May 17, 2011.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking to the press about budget and education matters on May 17, 2011.

Budget Leaders: It's Up to the House

If the House doesn't pass legislation that adds $2.6 billion to state revenue with a mix of delayed payments, increased penalties, government efficiencies and the like, the state budget won't balance and a special session will probably be required, House and Senate leaders said today.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst listens to members after the Texas Senate voted, 19-12, to pass the budget on May 4, 2011.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst listens to members after the Texas Senate voted, 19-12, to pass the budget on May 4, 2011.

Is David Dewhurst Goofy — or Goofy Like a Fox?

It’s funny that you can win four statewide elections and still have people think you’re a goofball, in over your head. But maybe Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s fumbles leading to the Texas Senate’s budget vote give the lie to that. Maybe he’s goofy like a fox.

Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011.

Perry on Senate Budget, Sanctuary Cities and Rainy Days

The governor told a press gaggle today that the Senate budget vote is a "step in right direction" — and that big-city police chiefs who oppose sanctuary city legislation must not have been listening last Election Day.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (c) goes over legislation with colleagues on the Senate floor April 18, 2011
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (c) goes over legislation with colleagues on the Senate floor April 18, 2011

Dewhurst Makes Budget Pitch to Senators

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, trying to build enough support to bring the budget up for consideration this week, appealed in writing to state senators, supporting the plan and a provision that would allow the state to spend $3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aaronson on a freshman lawmaker's rogue antics, Aguilar on how cartel violence affects tick eradication, Galbraith on Midland's water woes, Hamilton on the exit of a higher ed reformer, Murphy maps voting age by county, Philpott on the data breach at the Comptroller's office, Ramsey on why Susan Combs needs to eat crow, my TribLive interview with U.S. Sen John Cornyn, Ramshaw on Cornyn's refusal to take the "nickel tour" of Planned Parenthood, M. Smith annotates the contracts of superintendents, Stiles on a GOP-friendly redistricting map and Tan on a possible Rainy Day Fund raid: The best of our best content from April 18 to 22, 2011.

A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.
A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.

Senate Panel Approves $176.5 Billion Budget

A $176.5 billion budget for the 2012-13 biennium — 5.9 percent smaller than the current budget but almost $12 billion larger than the version passed earlier by the House — won approval from the Senate Finance Committee Thursday.

Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Guest Column: How to Bridge the Budget Gap

As the clock counts down to the end of the regular session on May 30, it’s fair to ask House and Senate leaders — and all members — to meet our needs, not our wants. Here's how they can bridge the multi-billion-dollar gap between their budget plans without any new taxes.

Pro-union protesters hold signs decrying budget cuts at the Texas Capitol on April 6, 2011.
Pro-union protesters hold signs decrying budget cuts at the Texas Capitol on April 6, 2011.

Thousands Rally for Smaller Budget Cuts

Thousands of protesters chanted "They say, 'Cut back.' We say, 'Fight back'" as they marched to the Capitol this afternoon to rally against proposed budget cuts.

Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.
Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.

House Gives Early OK to Bills Balancing '11 Budget

House lawmakers voted this afternoon to preliminarily pass HB 4 and HB 275, two bills that together will balance the state's budget for the remaining months of the fiscal year through a mix of spending cuts and use of the Rainy Day Fund. 

Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.
Republican State Reps. (l to r) Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; James White, R-Woodville, Bryan Hughes, R-Marshall,; and Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, work on HB4 budget amendments on March 31, 2011.

LiveBlog: House Debates Rainy Day Bills

We're liveblogging from the House floor, where lawmakers are expected to vote on HB 4 and HB 275, two bills that would balance the Fiscal Year 2011 budget and authorize lawmakers to withdraw $3.1 billion from the Rainy Day Fund.