State Budget

The Texas Legislature balances and certifies the state budget by diverting dedicated funds from their intended purposes. This impacts many county programs and local budgets. This budgetary trick forces higher property taxes to fund the affected county programs.

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Key Points

  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts must certify that there are sufficient funds available in the General Appropriations Act to cover approved spending by the Legislature before the bill is sent to the governor for approval.
  • In complying with this provision of the constitution, various techniques are used to certify and balance the state’s budget.
  • One technique is using non-appropriated, dedicated general funds (GR-dedicated) for certification.
  • There are more than 200 GR-dedicated accounts. Each account is statutorily dedicated for a particular purpose.
  • GR-dedicated accounts are a method of finance that includes accounts within the General Revenue Fund that are dedicated as a result of legislative action.
  • GR-dedicated funds are appropriated in nearly all the articles in the General Appropriations Act. By far the largest allocation is to Article III (Education).

Source: A State Budget Guide for County Officials, Texas Association of Counties

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