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.

Download Issue Brief

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

Related Articles

Texas' savings account is poised to hit $1.5 billion. How much will lawmakers spend?

The Texas Tribune, Feb. 8, 2019

More than in any legislative session since the Great Recession, Texas lawmakers are signaling a willingness this year to dip into the state’s massive savings account...

Here are the two things you need to tell your Texas representative, senator

Star-Telegram, Feb. 2, 2019

It has been a year since I took issue with some leaders in our state who were blaming out-of-control property taxes on local governments...

State Capital Highlights: Senate Finance panel starts work on state budget

The Marshall News Messenger, Jan. 29, 2019

Jane Nelson, chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, on Jan. 22 said she would follow an aggressive agenda to deliver a budget ready for floor debate by the end of February...

Current State Budget compared with the Legislative Appropriation Requests (LAR’s) for 2020-21

Nov. 11, 2018

The latest state budget document showing both the Legislative Appropriation Requests (LAR’s) baseline amounts and any exceptional item requests for the various programs that directly impact counties for the upcoming fiscal years (2020-21)...

State Budget

Conference Committee Report (CCR) on SB 1 for Fiscal Years 2018 -19

Revised Aug. 7, 2017

Fiscal Impact on County State Funded Programs. Governor's veto items included...

State Budget

Comptroller Releases State Revenue Estimate for 85th Legislature

Jan. 13, 2017

The day before the 85th Legislature convened, Comptroller Glenn Hegar released the latest Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE), which shows that the state is projected to have $104.9 billion available for general purpose spending in the 2018-19 biennium...

State Budget

State Budget Highlights: Impact on Counties

Jan. 27, 2017

The release of both proposed budgets (SB 1 in the Senate and HB 1 in the House) marks the beginning of the budget process for both chambers...

State Budget

Report Details How Dedicated Funds Help Balance State Budget

County Issues, Oct. 23, 2013

As part of what has been a regular practice over the past two decades, General Revenue-Dedicated Funds were used to certify the state budget for the coming fiscal years, according to a report released by the Comptroller’s office...

Budget Archives