Tag Archives: rainy day fund

Republicans are determined to learn the wrong lessons from the blackouts

It’s kind of amazing, and yet completely on brand. With millions of Texans having lost power during the winter storms, key players in the Legislature say one of the most immediate reforms they will push for is recalibrating the state’s … Continue reading

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Here’s the official budget forecast

“Could be worse” remains the watchword. Texas lawmakers will enter the legislative session this week with an estimated $112.5 billion available to allocate for general purpose spending in the next two-year state budget, a number that’s down slightly from the … Continue reading

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State budget situation not quite as awful as feared

Still bad, but could be worse. Despite “historic declines,” state lawmakers will have more money to work with in the upcoming legislative session than Comptroller Glenn Hegar expected over the summer, he said Monday. But Hegar did not outline specifics … Continue reading

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The state deficit is quantified

Honestly, it’s not as bad as it could be. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar delivered bleak but unsurprising news Monday: Because of the economic fallout triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of general revenue available for the state’s current two-year … Continue reading

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The rough fiscal road for school districts

It’s gonna be bad. How bad remains the question. Coronavirus already has wreaked havoc on school districts — closing campuses for the remainder of the school year, shifting learning online, and exposing a wide digital divide between students who have … Continue reading

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Coronavirus and the state budget

Ain’t gonna be great. How bad, we don’t yet know. Comptroller Glenn Hegar briefed Texas House members on the state’s economy and budget Sunday night, saying that while it was too soon for specific forecasts, both are expected to take … Continue reading

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Worrying about the restaurants

Alison Cook laments the potential fate for her favorite part of Houston. Depending on local or state strictures, to help stem the spread of Covid-19 restaurants in most major markets would be able to provide takeout, drive-thru or delivery rations … Continue reading

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House passes its budget out of committee

On to the full House, then the real fight occurs. A panel of House budget writers gave initial approval Monday to a budget that would spend $115 billion in state funds, including a $9 billion infusion of new funds for … Continue reading

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Senate presents disaster relief bills

Better late than never, though why they’re late remains a subject of interest. More than a year and a half after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the state, Texas Senate leaders announced a $1.8 billion trio of disaster relief bills on Wednesday that they … Continue reading

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Dems propose their school finance bills

It’s good to have a broad array of options. The Texas House Democratic Caucus laid out a $14.5 billion plan for school finance reform and property tax relief Thursday, releasing a list of priorities in advance of a key school … Continue reading

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Things the Rainy Day Fund was not intended for

This, for one. A pair of conservative lawmakers want Texans to help pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall and plan to ask lawmakers to take $2.5 billion out of its rainy day fund to cover the costs. Reps. Briscoe … Continue reading

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State House mulls big increase in school funding

That’s a good start. As Texas’ Republican leadership calls for property tax cuts and a school finance overhaul, the Texas House on Monday pitched a bold proposal: Pump roughly $7 billion more state funds into public schools — but only … Continue reading

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Our pretty decent revenue estimate

We’ve seen much worse. At a time when legislators are vowing to spend more money on public schools and slow the growth of Texans’ property tax bills, the state should have enough money at its disposal to do just that. … Continue reading

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Abbott versus Houston on Harvey funds

I have three things to say about this. Gov. Greg Abbott blasted the city of Houston for its response to Hurricane Harvey Wednesday, critiquing what he described as a lack of sound financial planning and sluggish progress repairing flooded homes. … Continue reading

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From the “Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash” files

Same song, second verse. If budget writers don’t come up with money to address a state employee pension shortfall and mounting needs for public schools, health care and transportation, credit agencies are likely to downgrade Texas’ AAA rating in the … Continue reading

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From the “Nothin’ but good times ahead” department

Given the good economic conditions in Texas right now, you’d think the budget outlook would be better than it is. The Texas economy is growing healthily, but that doesn’t mean state budget writers will have more money at their disposal … Continue reading

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HISD faces major changes

This is a very big story, but a key component to it is not discussed here. Houston ISD officials said Saturday the district will need to cut about $200 million from its 2018-19 budget to bring spending in line with … Continue reading

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The Harvey effect on the state budget

You know what the solution to this is, right? Senate leaders warned Tuesday that Hurricane Harvey could put a billion-dollar hole in Texas’ budget, an ever-growing number that could affect how much money is available for other state programs. Only … Continue reading

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What the Harvey needs are from the state

It’s not just about recovery. The long term needs, including mitigation against future events like Harvey, is where the real money will need to be spent. More than one month after Harvey’s deluge hit, local officials, including Mayor Sylvester Turner … Continue reading

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Houston gets state recovery funds, property tax rate hike shelved

Was that so hard? I ask you. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday said he would withdraw a proposed property tax rate hike after Gov. Greg Abbott handed him a check for $50 million to help fund the city’s recovery from … Continue reading

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Abbott says he wants a list from Turner

A list of funding priorities, he says. Because he’s passive like that. Answering Houston’s latest complaints over funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday told Mayor Sylvester Turner the state can step up with more money … Continue reading

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Abbott has no interest in helping Houston

So much for that. If the state taps into the Rainy Day Fund to help with recovery following Hurricane Harvey, it won’t be until the next legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott said during a news conference Tuesday. Abbott’s announcement comes … Continue reading

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Mayor Turner lowers tax rate hike amount

I’m sure we’re all glad to see this. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday said the temporary property tax rate hike he has proposed would be cut in half after federal officials approved his request to increase reimbursement for the city’s … Continue reading

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More on recapture and the Rainy Day Fund

There are some conditions that have to be met to get our recapture money back. Houston Independent School District won’t have to hand millions of dollars to the state to spend at other schools if HISD needs that money to … Continue reading

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Will we spend on some flood mitigation projects?

Maybe. We’ll see. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for the construction of flood control infrastructure in the Houston area — things he said should have been built “decades and decades ago” — including … Continue reading

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No special session needed to address Harvey flooding

So says Greg Abbott. Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday another special session of the Texas Legislature won’t be necessary to deal with the response to Hurricane Harvey. “We won’t need a special session for this,” Abbott told reporters, noting that … Continue reading

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Budget deal reached

The one bill that must get passed is on its way. After months of private squabbling and public threats of a legislative overtime session, the Texas House and Senate finally compromised to unveil a joint budget late Saturday. Lawmakers, scrounging … Continue reading

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House passes its budget

Mostly shenanigan-free, with a nice little side order of shade for a few people who deserve it. After 15 and a half hours of debate on hundreds of amendments to the Texas House budget, lawmakers in the lower chamber passed … Continue reading

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Senate passes its budget

It’s the one bill that has to pass. The Texas Senate unanimously approved a two-year budget on Tuesday that would shift nearly $2 billion in public education costs from the state to local taxpayers. The Senate’s $218 billion document now … Continue reading

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Who loves budget gimmicks?

The Senate Budget Committee, that’s who. Texas Senate budget writers on Wednesday unanimously approved their two-year budget, which avoided some steep cuts by using an accounting trick to free up $2.5 billion state dollars that were originally slated to go … Continue reading

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House considers a bigger ask from the Rainy Day Fund

Needs must, as they say. The proposal from state Rep. John Zerwas, a Richmond Republican and the House’s chief budget writer, would withdraw about $2.4 billion from the Rainy Day Fund as part of a supplemental budget to pay bills … Continue reading

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Bill to restore some budget flexibility filed

Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences Act of 2017. The Texas House’s chief budget writer filed legislation Friday that would allow lawmakers to claw back billions of dollars that voters approved for state highways, freeing them up for other … Continue reading

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Zerwas proposes using Rainy Day Fund

We’ll see if this goes anywhere. The chief budget writer in the Texas House on Friday proposed using $1.4 billion from the state’s savings account to pay bills coming due for a wide array of the state’s health and human … Continue reading

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Turns out a little budget flexibility is a good thing

Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. More than a year after Texas voters approved routing billions in state sales taxes to roads and bridges, some lawmakers are questioning whether the first payment of $5 billion should move … Continue reading

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