Navigating the state budget process

By Zelma Smith, TAC Financial Analyst

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It’s that time again — the state budget is being developed. If you consider yourself a new Texas policy wonk or you’ve been through the legislative process many times before, you know there’s one pressing responsibility that has to be accomplished during each legislative session — the state budget must be passed and balanced. Looking ahead to the 87th Texas Legislature, working on the state budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal biennium — the two-year period beginning September 1, 2021 and ending August 31, 2023 will be a priority for many Texans.

The Texas budget is written and implemented in a two-year cycle. Budget development includes markup of the recommended appropriations bills and passage of the General Appropriations Act by both chambers during the session, actions by the comptroller of public accounts and governor following the session and monitoring the budget during the interim.

State agencies are gathering information related to their budget requests as the state’s strategic planning instructions were released to them in early February. The strategic planning process marks the beginning of the state budget process, and determines the format of agency budget requests.



Texas County Involvement

Texas counties can be very influential in stages of the state budget process, especially now in the beginning. State agencies are mandated to solicit input from stakeholders and concerned parties regarding their budget requests. They have until August to submit these budget requests. This means that information will likely be collected soon from one of their biggest resources – Texas counties. 

Over the next few months, the Texas Association of Counties’ staff will update affiliate associations and county officials of the progression of the budget process, and provide tips on how to influence it, particularly in connection with funding for items that matter the most to local government. In the meantime, visit county.org for more a more detailed explanation of the state budget process from start to finish.