With only a few days remaining in the regular session, the spotlight remains on the state budget, SB 1. Over the past several weeks, the ten House and Senate members of the budget conference committee have been meeting to negotiate a final budget deal. The conference committee report for the state budget was filed on Thursday and must now be adopted with a final vote in both chambers.
Outside of the major sticking points — public education, water, transportation, tax relief and the exact funding mechanisms to use — the state budget is mostly intact. The following is a list of state-funded programs affecting counties that were adopted by the conference committee as of May 24, 2013:
- Lateral Road Funds – The House and Senate agreed on $7.5 million in Fiscal Year 2014 and $7.3 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
- Local Continuing Education Grants for Law Enforcement Officers – Budget conferees agreed on $6 million per year.
- Disaster Funding to State and Local Agencies – Budget conferees agreed on $33.7 million in FY 2014 and $29.6 million in FY 2015.
- Criminal Justice Grants to State and Local Entities – Budget conferees agreed on $97.6 million in FY 2014 and $93.1 million in FY 2015.
- Drug Courts – The House and Senate agreed on $750,000 per year.
- Courthouse Preservation Program – Budget conferees agreed on $461,151 per year to operate the department within the Texas Historical Commission that administers the program – for salaries, etc. However, the conferees eliminated funding for the actual program.
- Mental Health Services for Children – Budget conferees agreed on $201 million for the FY 2014-2015 biennium.
- County Indigent Health Care – The House and Senate agreed on $2.17 million per year for the biennium.
- Indigent Defense – House and Senate both agreed on $48.4 million in FY 2014 and $30.5 million in FY 2015.
- Automobile Burglary and Theft Grants – Budget conferees agreed on $14.9 million per year.
These are only some of the state-funded programs that directly impact counties.
TAC’s County Information Program (CIP) will provide an update to its budget summary report for the FY 2014-2015 biennium at a later date. Prior budget decisions made by the House and Senate are shown here.
For more information, contact Paul Emerson, TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.