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    Legislative Services

    County Issue | February 2023

    News Article | February 24, 2023

    Senate Finance Committee Announces Workgroups, House Appropriations Subcommittees Begin Meeting

    County News | Legislative News
    Legislative Services

    Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) announced workgroup assignments for the Senate Finance Committee, which she chairs, on Feb. 21. Each workgroup is assigned one or more articles in Senate Bill 1, the Senate's version of the introduced budget bill, and directed to recommend funding for the agencies within the assigned article's sphere.

    Articles I-VIII group agency budgets by functional category. For example, Article I includes general government agencies such as the state pension and group insurance agencies and the Comptroller's office, while Article II covers agencies that provide health and human services and Article III covers public and higher education agencies. (See the workgroups list below.)

    There are 10 articles total. Article IX contains general provisions and directions to state agencies, informational riders, salary classification schedules and so on. Article X contains funding for the legislative branch of state government.

    In the past, both the House and the Senate have adopted budget bills with an Article XI that includes "wish list" items that did not make it into the budget but which were deemed worthy of consideration for funding should additional revenue become available.

    Senate Finance Committee Workgroups
    Articles Chair Members
    Articles I, IV, V – General Government, Judiciary, Public Safety and Corrections Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) Sens. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) and John Whitmire (D-Houston).
    Article II – Health and Human Services Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) Sens. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and Angela Paxton (R-McKinney)
    Article III – Education Sen. Brandon Creighton (R- Conroe) Sens. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo)
    Articles VI, VII, VIII – Natural Resources, Business and Economic Development and Regulatory Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) Sens. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and Royce West (D-Dallas)

    The House Appropriations Committee has subcommittees that serve the same purpose as the Senate Finance Committee's workgroups. Chair Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) announced those appointments last week. Subcommittees began hearings on Feb. 21.

    House Appropriations Committee Subcommittees
    Articles Chair Members
    Articles I, IV, V – General Government, Judiciary, Public Safety and Corrections Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint) Reps. David Spiller, vice chair (R-Jacksboro), Steve Allison (R-San Antonio), Mano DeAyala (R-Houston) and Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston)
    Article II – Health and Human Services Rep. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond) Reps. Toni Rose, vice chair (D-Dallas), Gary Gates (R-Richmond), Donna Howard (D-Austin), Angelia Orr (R-Itasca), Lynn Stucky (R-Denton) and Gene Wu (D-Houston)
    Article III – Education Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) Reps. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio), John Bryant (D-Dallas), Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco), Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), Lina Ortega (D-El Paso), Carl Tepper (R-Lubbock), Carrie Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) and Kronda Thimesch (R-Lewisville)
    Article VI, VII, VIII – Natural Resources, Business and Economic Development and Regulatory Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston) Reps. Cecil Bell Jr., vice chair (R-Magnolia), Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) and Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)
    Subcommittee on Strategic Fiscal Review  (Impacts Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and other state agencies.) Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. (R-Magnolia) Reps. Donna Howard, vice chair (D-Austin), John Bryant (D-Dallas), Lina Ortega (D-El Paso), Spiller (R-Jacksboro), Carl Tepper (R-Lubbock), Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) and Armando Walle (D-Houston)

    The workgroups and the subcommittees will develop and submit funding recommendations to the full committees. One thing to note for county officials is that the Senate Finance workgroups do not hold public hearings. Public testimony, either in person or in writing, was taken during the full committee's hearings. House Appropriations subcommittees are public hearings and, as such, provide another opportunity for county officials to weigh in on House Bill 1, the House's introduced budget bill.

    For more on the state budget process, please contact Zelma Smith or your association's Legislative Consultant.