After intense negotiations in the last hours of the session, both the House and Senate adopted the recommendations of the budget conferees for SB 1, which appropriates $197 billion for the 2014-15 biennium (beginning Sept. 1, 2013). This is $7 billion (4 percent) more than current 2012-13 budget.
After the Comptroller’s Office verifies that there are sufficient funds available in the state coffers to cover SB 1 expenditures, the budget heads to the governor’s desk for his signature or veto.
SB 1 and other major appropriation bills that passed this session add roughly $4 billion to public education to help restore some of the $5.4 billion cuts made during the last session. In addition, $260 million of additional funds were appropriated to help address mental-health issues. Other additional funding includes $2 billion to create an infrastructure fund to address long-neglected state water concerns.
To make sure SB 1 balances, about $4.1 billion will be taken from the various dedicated funds, slightly less than the $4.9 billion appropriated in the last budget (2012-13).
An article in last week’s County issues showed several state-funded programs affecting counties that were left unchanged after the House and Senate adopted SB 1. However, one late addition occurred in the supplemental appropriations bill (HB 1025) that allows up to $225 million for the Texas Department of Transportation to administer a grant program for county roads in counties experiencing increased oil and gas activity.
Highlighted in the attached budget summary report is a detailed account of more than 50 state-funded programs affecting counties that TAC tracked over the past 140 days. The remarks in red signify what occurred in the final adopted conference committee report for SB 1.
For more information, contact Paul Emerson, TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.