After a lengthy debate on the Texas House floor late last week, HB 1025 finally passed, adding roughly $875 million to the state’s two-year budget cycle for 2012-13. HB 1025, also known as the supplemental appropriations bill, includes $500 million to fund public education and more than $170 million in reimbursement payments to the state and local agencies for the wildfires that occurred in 2011.
Additionally, the bill includes $19.5 million for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to purchase a correctional facility in Jones County.
As the bill was being debated on the House floor, 19 floor amendments were offered, but only 12 were adopted. The adopted floor amendments vary vastly, but several of them are significant to counties.
$110 million from general revenue to the Texas Department of Transportation to repair damages to roadways and bridges caused by oversize and overweight vehicles used in the development and production of energy. In addition, the bill was further amended requiring not less than 50 percent of the funds to be distributed to counties in oil and gas production regions for the purpose of maintaining and repairing roads affected by increased energy production activities;
$4.9 million from the economic stabilization fund will be used to reimburse Bastrop, Cass and Marion counties for the cost of fighting wildfires; and
$2 million from the Governor’s Trusteed Programs to be used for the disaster recovery efforts following the fertilizer plant explosion in West.
HB 1025 is now in the Senate and has been referred to the Finance Committee.
For more information, contact Paul Emerson, TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.