December 20, 2012
By Paul K. Emerson, TAC State Financial Analyst
The Texas Association of Counties County Information Program (CIP) is once again creating a baseline budget document, similar to the one used last session that identified state-funded county programs and how they were affected by the state budget shortfall.
During the initial stage of last session’s budget hearings, many local programs were either zeroed out or significantly reduced due to the budget shortfall. Key budget drivers, such as public school finance and Medicaid enrollment growth, that were left unresolved last session will undoubtedly impact whatever revenues may be available this coming session – once again causing a potential budget shortfall to occur.
In preparation of any possible budget shortfall, CIP will modify the budget baseline document that it used last session to track all the various cuts and reductions from county-related programs. The 24-page budget baseline document highlighted state funded local programs by describing the impact of the cuts and reductions. The document also included a table showing the budget differences between the House and Senate for each program.
Next year, the baseline budget document will expand by keeping the two previous budget cycles (FY2010 - FY2011 and FY2012-FY2013) and adding the current budget period (FY2014 and FY2015). Three two-year budget cycles will reflect how well the program fared over a six-year period.
The Legislative Appropriations Requests (LARs), which represent agencies’ funding requests, are not part of the document, since agencies’ LARs are subject to change.
As next year’s appropriations bill (SB 1) proceeds to the final stages of adoption in both chambers, CIP plans to provide an updated budget version of SB 1 at each stage of the process.
The baseline budget document will be posted on TAC’s website several days after the Legislative Budget Board releases the introduced budget for both chambers.
For more information, contact Paul Emerson, TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.