Sizing Up The Texas Budget: Overview

As the third called legislative session begins, legislators are still finalizing the highway funding part of the Texas state budget for 2014 and 2015–the two-year budget period that begins September 1, 2013. Spending authorized to date—excluding $2 billion in water plan funding that requires voter approval in November—totals $197 billion in All Funds, of which […]

2013 Lege Wrap-Up: Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

As predicted, this session’s debates around school choice were used as a distraction from discussing real solutions to the state’s education challenges. Fortunately, all the different voucher proposals, which would divert state funds for public education to cover all or part of a student’s tuition at a private or religious school, were defeated. The legislature […]

2013 Lege Wrap-Up: Tax Giveaways

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

This session, the Legislature give higher priority to tax giveaways than to fully restoring public services to their pre-recession levels.  Three major tax giveaways, plus renewal and expansion of the state’s major school property tax abatement program, will hurt the state’s ability create the human and physical infrastructure needed to ensure a prosperous future for […]

Preliminary Look at Public School Funding in the State Budget

In the state budget deal for 2014-15 that’s still a few pieces short of being finalized by the 83rd Legislature, public education would see a 7 percent biennial increase, from $52 billion in 2012-13 to $56 billion in 2014-15.  General Revenue support for public education would rise by 8 percent in SB 1, or 8.5 percent […]

Budget Conference Committee Proposal Doesn’t Account For Growth

With just a few days left in the 2013 legislative regular session, details and summary information on the 2013 and 2014-15 state budget deals are finally starting to emerge. The conference committee report for Senate Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act for 2014-15, includes $94.6 billion in General Revenue spending, and an All Funds budget of […]

Will the Senate Choose Tax Breaks Or Investments in Texas’ Future?

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

The Senate this week will consider tax giveaways that would reduce the amount available to support public services in the next state budget by $1 billion. Supporters claim these tax breaks bring businesses to Texas and encourage economic development, but every dollar lost in revenue is a dollar lost from funding for education and health […]

Wage, job requirements slashed for school property tax abatements

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

A tax abatement program that already reduces school property tax revenue by $4.2 billion would be expanded and extended by HB 3390, which passed the House on Friday, and SB 1647, which will be debated by the Senate this week. During the House debate, floor amendments were added that would nearly eliminate all job creation […]

OPED–Lawmakers have an opportunity to do more for Texas kids

“When it comes to funding priorities for Texas children, legislators appear to be facing similar tough choices as they work to finalize the state budget. The Senate and House have proposed 2014-15 budgets that, at first glance, seem to highlight different priorities for Texas kids. For example, the House proposes more state money, about $1 […]

Comparing the House and Senate’s HHS Funding

To help you understand the differences between the Senate and House budgets, we’ve broken down their health and human services funding proposals into three papers, one comparing each chamber’s investments in Medicaid and CHIP for low-income, disabled Texans and children, each chamber’s investment in mental health and substance abuse services, and each chamber’s investment in […]

We Can’t Overlook Equity When We Talk About Public Ed Funding

Chandra Villanueva

Earlier this year, Judge Dietz found the Texas school finance system to be inadequate and inequitable. The inadequacy finding was undoubtedly exasperated by the $4 billion cut in formula funding and more than $1 billion cut from educational grant programs during the 2011 legislative session. As the Legislature works to restore funding to public schools […]