Between Oct. 29 and Nov. 6, staff members from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the governor's Budget and Policy Division have held virtual budget hearings on state agency legislative appropriations requests (LARs) for the 2022-23 biennium. The LARs lay out agencies’ funding requirements and needs for the upcoming fiscal biennium. They also provide the public with a preview of each agency’s priorities.
These hearings begin the budget process, and they will lead to the LBB preparing a baseline budget, which the House and Senate budget-writing committees use as a starting point for their work. This year, the pandemic delayed the submission of LARs and the mandatory public hearings on those funding requests.
The TAC Legislative Services team monitors the state budget for unfunded and underfunded mandates and any resulting cost shifts to counties. Providing public testimony at state budget hearings is an opportunity for county officials to address funding requests that directly affect Texas counties’ share of the cost of mandated services such as indigent defense.
The virtual hearings do not allow testimony from the public, stakeholders and other interested parties. Instead, those wanting to comment on state agency funding requests have up to three weeks from the joint budget hearing date to submit written testimony to the LBB and the governor’s office. The deadlines by agency for written testimony can be found here.
If you are not familiar with these agencies or their impact on county funding, please contact a Legislative Consultant. Throughout the 87th legislative session, TAC will provide periodic updates on the state budget and its effects on counties. For more information on this article and the state budget process, please contact Zelma Smith.