Overview of the State Budget Process

February 24, 2020

Legislative News

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The Texas biennial appropriations bill is the one piece of legislation that the Legislature must enact before the end of a legislative session or come back during a special session to complete. This requirement has to do with Texas being one of only four states that have biennial budgets and biennial legislative sessions. Texas' two-year budget expires on August 31 of odd-numbered years. The Texas Legislature convenes from January-May of odd-numbered years, and enacts a budget for the upcoming two-year period that takes effect September 1, the first day of the state's fiscal year.  To avoid the state being without a budget, the Legislature must enact the biennial appropriations bill during the regular or a special session before September 1.

To assist county officials in navigating the upcoming two-year state budget cycle, the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) updated a graphic depicting the timeline for the state budget process, identifying and explaining key points along the way. The graphic begins with pre-session budget development and instructions, moves on to the session with budget markup by the House and Senate, and finally, post-session actions by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the governor.

At this time, the state is still in the initial budget development phase – strategic planning instructions were released to state agencies early in February 2020. These instructions set in motion the process for determining the format of agency budget requests, which are due this summer (July-August 2020). Although the due date is a few months away, agencies are already soliciting input from stakeholders and concerned parties regarding their budget requests.

Over the next few months, TAC staff will remind affected associations and county officials of where we are in the 2022-23 state budget process. Tips on how to influence that process will be provided, particularly in connection with funding for items that matter most to counties.

For more information about the state’s budget process, contact Zelma Smith or Rhita Koches at (800) 456-5974.