AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released the policy perspective The Conservative Texas Budget: A Review of the First Three Biennia by the Honorable Talmadge Heflin and Bill Peacock. The paper examines the trend in Texas state government spending over three biennia since the introduction of the Conservative Texas Budget (CTB) in 2015.

The CTB sets growth limits on state appro­priations and spending to no more than population growth plus inflation for the purpose of providing Texas policymakers and the public with an upper limit on how much Texas state government should be spending.

“The Conservative Texas Budget is a simple standard that the public can use in real time to see if pol­icymakers are keeping spending growth to less than population growth plus inflation,” said Talmadge Heflin, director of fiscal policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Our research shows that the spending of state funds has grown more slowly since the introduction of the Conservative Texas Budget than it had in the previous decade.”

In setting the limits under the CTB, the Foundation uses an “appropriations to appropriations” methodology for estimating spending growth, which is different from the Legislative Budget Board’s (LBB) “spending to appropria­tions” methodology. This is done because the Foundation is focused on measuring actual growth in spending, while the LBB is focused on complying with several constitutional and statutory restrictions.

“The Conservative Texas Budget has proven to be a more accurate indicator of the Legislature’s budget performance in real time than the LBB’s official figures,” said Bill Peacock, vice president of research at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The accuracy and accountability it provides is one reason why the CTB appears to have helped restrain Texas government spending growth since 2015.”

To read the full report, visit: