Texas Senate Passes Fiscally Sound Budget with Bi-Partisan Support

March 28, 2017

AUSTIN – Senate Bill 1, authored by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), unanimously passed the Texas Senate by a vote of 31-0 today. The Senate budget is fiscally responsible, funds border security, and places a strong emphasis on our children’s futures. The approved budget is $106.3 billion for FY 18/19, 0.5% below the estimated general revenue budget for FY 16/17.

“The Finance Committee left no stone unturned looking for savings, examining our budget drivers, and looking for ways to make smarter use of our resources,” stated Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson. “We committed to passing a budget that is fiscally sound and meets the needs of our growing state. Our workgroups labored around the clock, searching for opportunities to achieve savings with the goal of freeing up additional resources to fund our priorities.”

“This is a budget conservatives can be proud of,” declared Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). “It is a budget that is balanced, cuts spending, and ensures Texas lives within its means. That is really important with the tough economic times our energy industry is experiencing across the state.”

Highlights of the Senate Budget:

  • Establishes a $106.3 billion budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year
  • Does not increase spending, in fact it reduces spending by 0.5%
  • Allocates $2.6 billion for student enrollment growth
  • Provides $3.4 billion for Child Protective Services
  • Dedicates $5 billion to transportation funds
  • Maintains $800 million for border security
  • Includes $40 million to support infrastructure for Texas ports
  • Supplies $25 million for high caliber bullet proof vests for police officers

“This is a lean, but not mean budget,” added Finance Committee Member, Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) to bi-partisan agreement.

Senate Finance Chair Nelson formed workgroups to find additional efficiencies within state programs. Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) chaired the Articles I, IV & V Workgroup focused on General Government, The Judiciary and Public Safety; Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) chaired the Article II Workgroup focused on Heath & Human Services and Healthcare Costs Workgroup; Senator Larry Taylor (R-Galveston) chaired the Article III Workgroup focused on Education as well as the School Finance Workgroup; Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) chaired the Article VI, VII & VIII Workgroup focused on Natural Resources, Business & Economic Development, and Regulations; Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) chaired the Workgroup on Transferability; Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) chaired the Workgroup on Special Items in Article III; and Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) chaired the Juvenile Justice Workgroup. Senators Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), and Kirk Watson (D-) served on multiple workgroups each.


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