AUSTIN, Texas – In the first of a series of reports examining the state budget, the former House Appropriations chairman says the state must develop a strong accountability system to be able to track future expenditures.

The series by Talmadge Heflin, a visiting research fellow for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, will examine the state budget in an effort to recommend cost savings in the next legislative session.

This first report focuses on overspending of the biennial budget.

“Unchecked spending cannot be sustained by any tax system,” writes Heflin. “A better accountability system for money spent in the past will pay great dividends in the future.”

According to Heflin, a sound accountability system will “provide data on how effective a program is and the value received for the dollars spent.” This allows for an “intelligent decision” to be made about continuing expenditures.

The report is available online at

Future reports in the series will examine such issues as:

  • Governor’s role in the budget process;
  • Legislative Budget Board’s role in the budget process;
  • Agency performance measures;
  • Budgeting philosophies; and
  • Role of the Comptroller.