Texas Lawmakers Approve $209 Billion State Budget for the 2016-17 Biennium

June 02, 2015
By Paul K. Emerson, TAC State Financial Analyst
Legislative News

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The fiscal year 2016-17 state budget of $209 billion, which is an increase of 3.6 percent from the current budget for 2015-16, is off to the governor for his approval. 
 
The budget was approved by both chambers after lengthy discussion on both sides of the Capitol. The upper chamber voted 30 to 1 in giving its final approval by adopting the Conference Committee Report on HB 1, with three days remaining in the regular session ending June 1.  Simultaneously, the House adopted HB 1 after a long and contentious debate – with a 115 to 33 vote in favor.
 
However, $2.9 billion remains on the table to cover additional expenses if needed, before the state spending cap takes effect.
 
It is worth noting that the Legislature did not touch the Rainy Day Fund for the 2016-17 biennium.  The fund is projected to have $11.1 billion at the end of August 2017.
The following is a short list of state-funded programs affecting counties that were adopted by the conference committee and approved by both chambers:

  • Lateral Road Funds – $7.3 million per year.
  • Local Continuing Education Grants for Law Enforcement Officers – $6 million per year.
  • Drug Courts – $750,000 per year.
  • Courthouse Preservation Program – $10.5 million per year.
  • Mental Health Outpatient Services for Children – $204.6 million for the FY 2016-17 biennium, which includes an additional $6.4 million from earlier budget versions this session.
  • Mental Health Outpatient Services for Adults – $663.9 million for the FY 2016-17 biennium, which includes an additional $14.9 million from earlier budget versions this session.
  • Mental Health Community Hospitals – $209.9 million for the FY 2016-17 biennium, no additional increases from earlier budget versions this session.
  • Mental Health Community Crisis Services – $255.3 million for the FY 2016-17 biennium, which is a slight decrease of $4.2 million from earlier budget versions this session.
  • County Indigent Health Care – $2.18 million per year.
  • Indigent Defense – $71.1 million for the FY 2016-17 biennium, including $7.5 million in general revenue funds.
  • Automobile Burglary and Theft Grants – $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 2016-2017 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.