House Budget Proposals: Using Rainy Day Fund Critical to Health Care & Education

Eva DeLuna Castro

failure to adopt this proposal in its current form could mean that more than half a million Texans lose access to health care

First Look — Senate Budget Update Improves Health, Higher Ed. Funding

Eva DeLuna Castro

Today the Senate Finance Committee approved its substitute for the Senate budget proposal (Senate Bill 1), the General Appropriations Act for 2018 and 2019. Total spending proposed for the next budget cycle in SB 1 is $217.7 billion, a 0.7 percent increase compared to the $216 billion in state and federal revenue budgeted for 2016-17. This means a real spending drop of almost eight percent, once population growth and inflation are taken into account. Total General Revenue spending would be $106.3 billion, which would be a 1.6 percent drop from 2016-17 even before any population or inflation adjustment.

Texas Senate Budget Proposal Is Worse Than You Think

Eva DeLuna Castro

On January 24, the Texas Senate Finance Committee will hear invited and public testimony on its 2018 and 2019 budget proposals for the Texas Education Agency, Teacher Retirement System, and other public school and higher education services that receive state funding. Public testimony on health and human services is scheduled for Tuesday, January 31. These […]

Gearing Up for the Texas Revenue Estimate

Eva DeLuna Castro

On Monday, January 9, State Comptroller Glenn Hegar will issue the revenue estimate for 2018-19, as well as update legislators on 2016-17 state revenue collections. This key stage in the budget cycle is when state officials find out how much will be available to invest in schools, higher education, health care, and other services through […]

Are You Ready for Texas Budget Season? An Infographic

Eva DeLuna Castro

If you’re a budget analyst like me, the summer before the Legislature meets is as exciting as watching a rodeo rider get ready for what’s always a wild ride. Even if you’re not a budget analyst, it’s worth paying attention to how and where Texas lawmakers decide to invest the state and federal money that […]

Texas House Budget: The Day After

As the dust settles on the 17-hour HB 1 debate in the Texas House, it’s worth noting what made it into the final House budget proposal, what didn’t, and what the key takeaways were. Journalists and spectators have already said plenty about the purely political or ideologically driven attacks on everything from public transit to […]

Budget Heads to the House Floor

House budget writers left over $8 billion on the table in available general revenue, and have $2 billion in wiggle room under the spending growth cap. These funds could go a long way to increasing investments in Pre-K, community mental health services, community colleges, and other services that benefit hardworking Texans and businesses. Now these needs are competing with the tax cuts promised by leaders in both chambers.

Population Growth + Inflation Doesn’t Add Up for Texas

Imagine you move into a new house only to discover that the ceilings are only 5 feet high, forcing you to walk around hunched over. You would be outraged, uncomfortable, and unable to use your home to its full potential. There is a real danger that future legislators may find a similarly restrictive ceiling on […]

Texas Medicaid Spending in Context

The 84th Legislative Session is now well underway, with committees appointed and holding hearings on budget and other important policy issues. In both House and Senate budget hearings, you may have heard legislators surprised to hear how much Texas Medicaid spending has grown. When we talk about increased Medicaid spending, we have to keep in […]

Cheat Sheet for the Texas Revenue Estimate

On January 12, new Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will issue the revenue estimate for the 2016-17 budget cycle, as well as update legislators on 2014-15 state revenue collections. Perenially missing from the early stages of the official process is a clear understanding of the funding needed just to deal with growth in the number of […]