The Texas House Appropriations Committee completed its mark-up of House Bill 1 and issued instructions for the Legislative Budget Board to prepare the committee substitute.
Because it is the Senate’s turn to initiate this biennium’s budget, the House Appropriations Committee will wait on the Senate to adopt the committee substitute for Senate Bill 1. Once adopted by the full Senate, Senate Bill 1, as engrossed, will be sent to the House and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. At this point, the House Appropriations Committee will substitute Senate Bill 1, as engrossed, with its mark-up of House Bill 1. Then, unlike in the Senate, the appropriations bill will be amended on the House floor, with House members instructed to identify spending reductions that would offset any funding added to the budget.
Like the Senate Finance Committee, the House Appropriations Committee provided little in restored or new funding important to counties. The House Committee did add a rider, which provides $100 million in federal funds for broadband development, contingent on the enactment of House Bill 5 or similar legislation. The committee also added $3.5 million for assistance to local libraries. Intended uses of these additional funds include salaries, and Wi-Fi hotspots and devices to increase access to online and electronic resources. Finally, the committee added $18.5 million for county courthouse preservation grants. However, the funding is not to be provided in the appropriations bill for the 2022-23 biennium, but in the committee substitute for House Bill 2, the supplemental appropriations bill the Legislature typically enacts to close the books on the current two-year budget. The $18.5 million for courthouse grants would come from the Economic Stabilization Fund.
For more on the House Appropriations Committee's mark-up decisions, see the adopted decision documents on the Legislative Budget Board website.
For more information on this article, contact Zelma Smith.