October 19, 2012
By Paul K. Emerson, TAC State Financial Analyst
House Speaker Joe Straus recently created a new interim committee to address the long-standing practice of dedicated funds being used to certify the state budget. For the current budget cycle (FY2012 and FY2013), $4.9 billion in dedicated funds was used to balance the state budget. These funds were intended for other purposes — not to certify the state budget.
Chair Rep. Drew Darby (San Angelo) and co-chair Rep. John Otto (Dayton) will work to develop ways the Legislature can use these funds more appropriately and transparently. Other members named to the committee include Rep. Rafael Anchia (Dallas), Rep. Larry Gonzales (Round Rock), Rep. Patricia Harless (Spring), Rep. Donna Howard (Austin), Rep. Jose Menendez (San Antonio), Rep. Jim Pitts (Waxahachie) and Rep. Sylvester Turner (Houston).
The committee is expected to have its findings and recommendations completed in early January 2013.