State Budget Highlights: Impact on Counties

January 27, 2017
By Paul K. Emerson, State Financial Analyst
Legislative News

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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. SB 1 is being heard in the Senate Finance Committee over the next several weeks, while the House awaits committee assignments from the Speaker’s office.   

Several key items impacting counties are summarized in this preliminary chart. As the budget process heads into markup over the next couple of months, a more detailed chart will be available to reflect those changes. This chart does not currently reflect any items pertaining to health and human service agencies within Article II of the budget, mainly due to the transformation of programs and funds being moved from one agency to another.

Here are a few budget items highlighted in HB 1 and SB 1, as introduced, relating to counties for the fiscal year 2018-19 biennium:

  • Training for law enforcement officers – HB 1 allocates $12 million; SB 1 allocates zero funding for the same period.
  • Courthouse Preservation – HB 1 allocates $1.1 million which will only cover operating expenses; SB 1 allocates $6.1 million.
  • Governor’s Criminal Justice Program – Both bills substantially increase funding to this program.
  • Indigent Defense – Both bills allocate the same amount - $66.5 million.
  • Judicial and Court Personnel Training – HB 1 allocates $15.9 million; SB 1 allocates $15.5 million.

The introduced budgets are only the starting point of negotiations. A final budget, after numerous hearings and markups, will be passed some time before the end of the legislative session. 

A breakdown of the current state budget for fiscal years 2016-17 is available for comparison.

For more information, please contact Paul Emerson, TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.