Here’s What to Look for in Today’s Budget Bills

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Here’s what we know so far

Today, the Senate and House released starting-point budgets for education, health care, and other state-funded services in 2018 and 2019. Each legislative chamber will hold public hearings on the proposals (SB 1 and HB 1) and “mark up” their respective drafts for full Senate and House approval. Then, before the session ends, a budget compromise will emerge.

Some of the major differences in the two proposals:

* The House has $43.9 billion in All Funds for the Foundation School Program – state aid for public elementary and secondary education. This is $1.5 billion more than the Senate proposes, and the House’s increase is contingent on school finance reform.

* Proposed 2018-19 funding for health and human services is also higher in the House budget, because the House includes most caseload growth. The Senate budget does not address caseload or medical inflation cost growth, and also does not assume that any supplemental funding will be made for Medicaid in 2017 ($1.2 billion in General Revenue).

* The House has slightly more funding for behavioral health, and the same amount for child protective services, as the Senate proposes.

The total amount of General Revenue spending proposed by the House is $108.9 billion, significantly higher than the Senate’s $103.6 billion, but still not enough to keep up with projected population and inflation by 2019. Article IX in the Senate proposal makes across-the-board cuts of 1.5% in General Revenue spending, exempting only the Foundation School Program. The chart below assumes that the 1.5% cut is distributed equally to everything in SB 1 except for state aid to schools, but the Senate Finance committee will make those choices in mark-up.

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For more, follow Eva DeLuna Castro on Twitter.

Eva DeLuna Castro joined the Center in 1998 and focuses on state budget issues. Before coming to the Center, she was an Analyst for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, researching various policy issues related to state revenue and spending. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1988 and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997.

1 Comment

  • Education and children’s services are paramount if young people are to succeed. Remediation is better than having disfunctional adults. Lack of mental health and remedial programs hampers development into a competent adulthood. The price tag down the line exceeds the cost up front. Please consider a deeper commitment to children and adults with mental, academic or emotional issues. High academic standards can be met if good planning is in place.

    Edna B. Hibbitts 26.01.2017

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