On Thursday, May 26, the House and Senate budget conferees reached a compromise and agreed on HB 1, sending it to both chambers for weekend votes. This doesn’t leave the Legislature much time, since the session ends at midnight Monday, May 30.
In a 9-1 decision, Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) was the only conferee member to vote against HB 1. Assuming HB 1 is successful and passes out of both chambers during the weekend with no substantive changes, the budget currently stands at $172.3 billion in all funds for the next two years (2012-13). This is roughly $15.1 billion, or 8.1 percent less than the current budget, which ends Aug. 31, 2011.
Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) noted that HB 1 wouldn’t balance without the passage of three other bills:
- HB 4 – Supplemental appropriations and reductions for fiscal 2011.
- HB 275 – Making an appropriation of money from the economic stabilizations fund for expenditure during the current state fiscal biennium.
- SB 1811 – Relating to certain fiscal matters.
Courthouse Preservation Program
Conferees to HB 1 allocated $20.4 million to the Courthouse Preservation Program. These funds are provided in Article IX of HB 1.
Conference Committee Report on HB 1
The TAC County Information Project has prepared a report detailing agency programs that impact counties. For more information on this article, contact Paul Emerson, TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.