Thursday, February 2, 2017

The State Budget

Goal: To Pass a State Budget

  • For the 2016-17 biennium, the legislature approved an all-funds budget of more than $205 billion — nearly 75 percent of which is spent on Public and Higher Education (Article 3) and Health and Human Services (Article 2).
  • Medicaid is the largest single budget item at $60 billion all funds (will need an emergency appropriation of nearly $2 billion for the current budget cycle to address caseload growth).
  • State leaders have asked agencies to prepare 2018-19 budget with a 4-percent reduction.
  • Texas may have an unspent balance of $4.1 billion in general revenue; also, $9.7 billion in the Rainy Day Fund, but it is not expected to be spent.
  • Priorities for this session include: Child Protective Services, behavioral health funding, women’s health funding, appropriate Medicaid funding, Teacher Retirement System soundness, public school funding, property taxes, and transportation. And there will be a serious discussion about Medicaid block grants.